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Sports

Olympic chief Thomas Bach calls for renewal of credibility of sports

The president of the IOC has called for a collective effort to renew the credibility of sports amid various scandals. Thomas Bach's letter came as the IOC Executive Board gathered for a meeting in Lausanne.

In his letter, posted on the International Olympic Committee's home page on Tuesday, Thomas Bach issued an appeal to protect world sports from doping scandals and corrupt practices after recent damaging revelations involving Russian athletics and FIFA.

Following the release of an independent report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency last month

Russia's track-and-field team

was suspended by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and is facing a possible ban from the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

"We must do everything we can to protect these millions of clean athletes around the world," Bach wrote. "For their sake and for the credibility of sports competition, they have to be protected from doping and corrupting influences.

Bach described the "finger of suspicion" pointing at clean athletes as "the very worst 'side-effect' of doping."

The IOC president also took the opportunity to highlight a package of reforms that the organization adopted one year ago, saying that Olympic Agenda 2020 ensured that it was subject to "internationally recognized standards of governance."

"As a result, all our accounts are audited at a higher international financial reporting standard (IFRS) and we are publishing everything in our annual report, as is common practise in the corporate world; we have term and age limits for all IOC Members; we have a chief ethics and compliance officer, an audit committee and an independent ethics commission."

Without mentioning FIFA, soccer's world governing body, which has been mired in a corruption scandal for months, Bach also called on "all sports organizations to follow this route."

The IOC Executive Board meeting in Lausanne, which runs through Thursday, is to discuss the further implementation of Agenda 2020.

This comes just days after

voters in the northern German port city of Hamburg

rejected a proposal to bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympic Games, something Bach has blamed on the Russian doping scandal as well as corruption allegations at FIFA and the IAAF.

pfd/rd (Reuters, dpa, AFP)

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