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Bubka vows to engae youth, fight illegal betting and doping

English.news.cn   2013-08-10 07:11:08            

BEIJING, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- Ukrainian pole vault legend Sergei Bubka has vowed to prioritise engaging youngsters in sport and fighting illegal betting and doping if he becomes the International Olympic Committee's next president.

The 49-year-old former Olympic champion is the youngest candidate in the election, due to take place in Buenos Aires on Sept. 10. The five other candidates are Germany's Thomas Bach, Puerto Rico's Richard Carrion, Singapore's Ng Ser Miang, Denis Oswald of Switzerland and Chinese Taipei's Wu Ching-Kuo.

Bubka, who won Olympic gold in 1988 and broke the world record 35 times, set out his vision for the future of the IOC through his manifesto.

"If I am given the honor of being selected as the next IOC President, my main task will be to ensure that we re-engage young people," Bubka said in an interview with Xinhua recently.

"The IOC will become more relevant to young people and indeed to all those who watch or participate in sport above and beyond what we do around the Olympic Games."

To this end, Bubka wants to involve more people in the Olympic Movement. "That means tapping into the enthusiasm and ideas of young people through a Youth Council; utilizing the advice and experience of retired IOC Members through a Council of Elders; and establishing an Icons Council to tap into the knowledge of leaders from business, media, technology and entertainment to spread the Olympic Values," he said.

Another priority is to stamp out cheating in all its forms. The recent spate of doping scandals in athletics has damaged the sport. Former world champion Tyson Gay, from the United States, and Jamaica's Asafa Powell tested positive for banned substances in July, along with another Jamaican sprinter -- Sherone Simpson.

"The fact that high profile athletes have been caught doping proves that the system works and we must continue to do all we can to discourage anyone from being tempted to cheat," said Bubka.

"Consistent hard work will help us to clean up sport. The Olympic Movement will never let drugs ruin the values adhered to through the centuries since the days of the ancient Olympians. But of course it's a tough fight.

"Illegal betting, along with doping, is a cancer which everyone involved with sport, not just within the Olympic Movement, must work hard to eradicate. The IOC needs to continue to collaborate with betting organisations, governments, non-governmental institutions and to educate all athletes.

"We should ensure that the temptation to manipulate results for financial gain never supersedes the ambition to win gold or compete fairly for anyone who chooses to participate in sport."

In addition to the IOC presidential election, high on the agenda of the 125th IOC session next month is the vote on the venue for the 2020 Summer Olympics. Madrid, Istanbul and Tokyo are entering the final straight in the bidding race.

When asked which city has the best chance, Bubka replied "It is certainly not an exact science", adding that there are a range of factors that will influence IOC members and "you can never tell what will affect their decisions."

But, with the Olympics set to be staged in South America for the first time in 2016, Bubka said that if elected, he would like his Presidency to embrace new cultures and promote the Games in new territories.

Editor: An
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