Olympics: IOC chief Bach wants audits of sports federations to combat corruption

IOC president Thomas Bach speaking at a press conference in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Dec 10.
IOC president Thomas Bach speaking at a press conference in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Dec 10. PHOTO: EPA

LAUSANNE (AFP) - International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach on Thursday unveiled plans for sports federations to have their finances and governance audited in an effort to combat corruption.

The audits will begin in 2016 and will apply to all international federations which receive financial aid from the IOC.

"The audits will be led by independent organisations," said Bach, and will also include national Olympic committees and Olympic Games organising committees.

The move comes as world football's governing body Fifa and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), which controls track and field, are mired in corruption scandals.

On the ongoing Fifa crisis, Bach said he was encouraged by a range of reforms which should be adopted by the body's 209 federations next February, when a new president to succeed the suspended Sepp Blatter will be elected.

"The reforms are definitely a great step in the right direction, if you look at them, finally there will be term limits (for presidents)," said Bach. "So yes I think these reforms when they have been approved by the Congress are a basis."

However, in a later statement, the IOC added that it was concerned over the lengthy nature of the twin investigations being carried out by the US and Swiss judicial authorities into Fifa corruption.

"The IOC executive board welcomed the proposals by the Fifa Executive Committee for major reforms like term limits and other measures," said the statement.

"The IOC executive board remains concerned with regard to the ongoing criminal procedures in the United States and Switzerland, which according to these authorities could last for another five years.

"Since this could continue to overshadow the credibility of Fifa and affect all sport organisations for such a long time, the IOC executive board encourages Fifa to take all necessary measures to clarify and resolve all the pending issues as soon as possible by further engaging with the relevant authorities."