Good partnerships win, say global event leaders

Scotland's National Events Conference (L to R Brendan McClements, Fiona Hyslop MSP, Mike Cantlay OBE, Paul Bush OBE)

Strong partnerships are the key to delivering a flourishing events and festivals portfolio, according to Brendan McClements, Chief Executive of Australia’s Victorian Major Events Company and Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events. 

The driving forces of two of the world’s most successful event destinations spoke to Host City at the National Events Conference on 3 December 2015 at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre. The conference focused on “Scotland the Perfect Stage”, the recently refreshed National Events Strategy for 2015-2025.

“You can’t do this by yourself, you need people to help. When I was reading through ‘The Perfect Stage’ strategy it was the first time I’d seen another nation highlight so clearly that we need this as a fundamental component of building success and how to use it to our advantage,” Brendan McClements, Chief Executive of Australia’s Victorian Major Events Company told Host City during the conference.

“Victoria has learned from Scotland’s approach. That’s something that’s helped drive success in Victoria.” 

After an unprecedented year for major events in Scotland in 2014, which included the Ryder Cup and Commonwealth Games, the nation is now looking forward to hosting the 2018 European Sports Championships, 2019 Solheim Cup and UEFA EURO 2020. 

McClements has been responsible for attracting some of the world’s most prestigious events properties to the state of Victoria, including the 2015 Cricket World Cup, Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix and the incredibly popular artistic and cultural celebration, White Night Melbourne.

In his keynote speech at the conference, McClements emphasised Scotland’s pre-eminent position in encouraging and facilitating the public, private and third sectors to work in unison in the delivery of its events and festivals portfolio, valued at £3.5bn per year to the Scottish economy.

“Major international events, and indeed small-scale events that support local communities, all of which have a number of stakeholders, can only achieve successful outcomes for all parties if everyone buys into the same plan. Sustainable events cannot survive on a command and control model,” he said.

“Events are complicated; you need to build a coalition of people who want to work with you,” he told Host City. “You are talking about governments, councils, local authorities, local services, industry, venues, airports, transport authorities, rights holders and so on,” 

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, explained how partnership working drove one of Scotland’s most recent successful bids, for the 2019 Solheim Cup at Gleneagles.

“We had 23 partners as part of our Solheim Cup bid including local bodies such as Creative Scotland and the Edinburgh International Festival. Bringing these bodies together you really see the value of working together; it’s broken down the silo mentality,” he told Host City.

“It’s brokered by people trusting each other, but ultimately you’ve got to put a system in place that maintains the momentum. It’s really an organic process that needs to become systemic; it needs to maintain its integrity when people leave.”

The Scotland’s First Minister and Victoria’s Premier established a Memorandum of Understanding during the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in relation to securing major events. 

“We share a lot of things in confidence. They are not a competitor, as they are on the other side of the world, but it’s good to share intelligence about how you work with rights holders and which new cultural products to launch,” Bush told Host City.

Cultural events is a key area where Scotland has inspired Victoria. “The Edinburgh International Festival is outstanding example of what can be achieved in the cultural space. Any city in the world would look at this and think, how can we achieve this,” said McClements.

“It’s certainly informed our thinking of what’s possible. We have an event called White Night that’s drawn on models from all over the world. The Edinburgh experience helped inform what we wanted to do with that event. Edinburgh is the gold standard.”

This strategic, coordinated approach is not exclusive to Scotland and Victoria. Bush cites Copenhagen as a “fantastic example”, and also points to Auckland, London and “pockets in North America”.

Strong international relations can in some cases lead to shared hosting rights. Australia co-hosted the 2015 Cricket World Cup with New Zealand. 

“Having multiple hosts is a natural outcome. New Zealand are our siblings, so there is a high level of cooperation. 

“Hosting the 2015 Cricket World Cup with New Zealand was no more complicated than any other major event that takes place in two locations. The organising committees made sure there was investment in communications.

“The plan was well coordinated – this was delivered seamlessly, all the way through the public and private sectors. The government piece of the puzzle was well sorted out. Time spent getting that right really paid off for Victoria.”

Victoria hosted a disproportionately large number of big games during the Cricket World Cup, including the opening as well as the final match. 350,000 people attended World Cup matches in Victoria in total, 153,000 of whom were from outside the state and 75,000 from outside the country, resulting in AU$300m of spending in the state.

In 2015 Melbourne also hosted Rugby League State of Origin series, one of Australia’s biggest sporting events. 92,000 people attended, 40,000 of whom were from outside Victoria. 

“It’s been an extraordinary fiscal year for Victoria, where you can see and taste the benefits that major events can bring. We’ve set a new benchmark for what major events are capable of,” said McClements.

The National Events Conference was opened by Fiona Hyslop MSP, the Cabinet Secretary for Europe, Culture and External Affairs and Dr Mike Cantlay OBE, Chairman of VisitScotland. Cantlay emphasised the need for continued investments in infrastructure, digital connectivity and air connectivity for Scotland to continue securing and delivering the next generation of events. 

The conference also focussed on operating outstanding smaller events, delivering safer events and addressing the opportunities provided to the sector by Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design. Speakers and delegates also discussed potential applications for 3D 360° video displays, gathering and interpreting real-time event insights and the TEDx phenomenon.

The conference followed the hugely successful Host City 2015 in November, which saw global cities, rights holders and experts converge in Glasgow.


How can future tournaments remain sustainable? The solution is in the format

A FIFA World Cup with 36 teams would have three POTs, each one containing 12 teams, based on ranking

Since the original Olympics Games in Ancient Greece, tournament format has remained the same: Round-Robin Groups and Direct Elimination (play-offs). The usage of these formats has caused several issues that organisers have failed to solve. 

One major issue is flexibility in the number of participants and matches. Then there is the existence of low-value or “dead” matches, where teams have nothing to play for because they've already qualified for the next round or have been eliminated. 

Match-fixing is another problem. In London 2012 for instance, eight female badminton players were disqualified from the tournament due to their attempts to lose their matches on purpose to get an "easier" rival in the next round.

Losing or drawing a match on purpose for the benefit of both sides is something that we see in almost every big tournament. In an attempt to address this issue, matches on the last day of group stages are played simultaneously in many big tournaments, such as the UEFA European Championship and FIFA World Cup. This precautionary move, which followed the "Disgrace of Gijon" in the 1982 FIFA World Cup, can be devastating for fans, sponsors and broadcasters and creates further problems.

Having the last two matches of a group played simultaneously means that two stadiums must be used for each group, so teams must travel from one city to another. In a group of four teams the only way to make teams have the same amount of travels, to ensure fairness, is by making all teams travel twice – that is, playing the first match in one stadium, the second in another and a third stadium for the third match. Having all teams travel once is impossible mathematically, and zero travel is not an option when staging matches simultaneously. 

Travelling twice during the group stage can involve a large amount of air travel. For instance, In 2014 FIFA World Cup the United States national team had to travel from Natal to Manaus and then to Recife, a total distance of nearly 6,000 miles.

MatchVision, a company based in Chile, has the solution for this and the associated issue of flexibility in the number of participants in a tournament. In 2003, FIFA expressed an interest in raising the number of participants in the World Cup to 36, but declared it impossible as they couldn't find a fair and simple way to select 16 teams advancing to the Round of 16.

After hearing that declaration, Leandro Shara, MatchVision President and founder, knew he had the solution for it – the POT System ©. Under the POT System © there are no groups; instead, the teams are divided into POTs, depending on the number of matches of the first round. 

For instance, a FIFA World Cup with 36 teams would have three POTs, each one containing 12 teams, based on ranking – POT A would have the strongest teams, POT B the medium teams, and POT C the emerging teams. Each team, no matter which POT it is placed in, would play three matches, one against a team from POT A, one against a team from POT B, and one against a team from POT C. For instance, Germany would meet Argentina from POT A, Croatia from POT B and Jordan from POT C. On the other hand, Jordan from POT C would meet Germany (A), as well as Uruguay (B) and Costa-Rica (C).

The POTs are not groups, instead we will have one General Standing of the 36 teams, and after three match days the best 16 would qualify to the next round, fair and simple. Moreover, in the Round of 16 the 1st would face the 16th, the 2nd would face the 15th, etc. That means that teams would want to finish as high as possible to have an "easier" rival in the next match. 

This will bring a revolution in the strategy of winning tournaments:  the best way would always be, for the first time, to win all matches. It also kills the chances of score manipulations, as teams would not depend just on their match and one additional match (in a four-team group), but on their match and results from the other 17 matches.

Eliminating the possibility of score manipulation would allow all matches in the first round to be played at different times, so spectators around the world could watch all matches live. Additionally, we can ensure that all teams travel exactly once in the first stage and travel the shortest distance from their “home" base. This means that if each host city has another host city within 500 miles or less, than maximum travel for a team would be 500 miles, even if host cities are spread over an entire continent.

The opportunities don't stop there. MatchVision has developed more than 30 solutions giving flexibility to tournaments. So for instance, the Olympic Volleyball competition could have 10 teams instead of 12, with teams still playing five matches in the first round, or to increase the number of teams in the Badminton tournament from 16 to 18, a 12 per cent increase, instead of the usual 50 per cent or 100 per cent increase caused by the rigidity of Groups and Play-Offs formats.

The inflexibility of the traditional tournament formats has created absurd situations, like the ATP World Tour Finals, which is played by eight players, even though the entire world of tennis, including the ATP website itself, talks always about TOP-10. To have a clearer picture of things, the phrase TOP-10 is googled 25 times more than TOP-8. The only reason just 8 players enter the O2 Arena is due to format restrictions, and thus we adjust the reality to the format.

It is time to turn that upside down and adjust format to reality, using tournament formats developed in the 21st century. The format revolution is coming.


Africa anticipates faster growth in business events

ICC Durban has staged some the world’s most prestigious and complex events including IOC and FIFA meetings

The next decade is set to bring increasingly rapid growth for the meetings, incentives, congresses and exhibitions (MICE) industry in Africa as the continent achieves higher economic growth, according to Derek Hanekom, Minister of Tourism for South Africa.

“The potential of Africa for the MICE industry is exponential,” Hanekom told delegates at ibtm world in Barcelona.

“The tide has turned, we can see that our growth opportunities are now also within the African market. There are 770 registered African Associations on the ICCA database. 178 of these are based in South Africa and 592 on the rest of the continent and 218 regional conferences were registered on the continent in 2014 resulting in 610 events over the last five years. South Africa only hosted 63 of these events in the past 5 years,” said Minister Hanekom.

South Africa hosted 124 international association conferences in 2014, which attracted just below 70,000 industry professionals. Of these 124 conferences, 81% were international rotating events.

Since its inception three years ago, the South Africa National Convention Bureau (SANCB) has successfully bid for 163 business events between 2016 and 2020, which are expected to bring over 150,000 delegates to South Africa and contribute approximately R3.1billion to the economy.

“South Africa offer the business events industry excellent value for money, deliver authentic, memorable and enriching experiences in one of the most captivating, safest and beautiful countries that I am proud to call my home,” said Hanekom.

It was also announced that the European Cities Marketing (ECM) programme has extended its reach to South Africa, hosting an ECM Academy in South Africa just before the 2016 edition of Meetings Africa.

“We are really thrilled to have our first ECM Academy organised in South Africa,” said ECM President Ignasi de Delàs at ibtm world.

“It’s a new landmark in ECM development to host the derived version of our successful ECM Summer School. The ECM Academy is a tailor-made course for partner organisations outside Europe. 

“We will do our maximum to guarantee the success of the ECM Academy in Johannesburg by maintaining the highest standard of course content, recruiting the best speakers, and giving the latest examples showcasing the most up-to-date trends in the Meetings Industry.”


Dubai to host 2019 World Congress of Neurology

Dubai has won the bid to host the World Congress of Neurology (WCN) in 2019, as the city focuses on business events for its economic development.

The WNC is organised by the World Federation of Neurology, an association of national neurological societies representing 119 neurological societies in all regions of the world. 

 “Dubai has hosted several international conferences across all fields and is known for its hospitality, excellent infrastructure and world-class facilities,” said HE Humaid Al Qatami, Chairman of the Board and Director-General of the DHA, speaking at the 22nd World Congress of Neurology in Chile in November 2015. 

“We look forward to hosting this conference in 2019 and we strongly believe that conferences are a platform that brings together experts from the region and abroad to discuss latest advances in the field. 

“Exchange of latest information and know-how is vital for growth and development, particularly in the medical field, which is ever-evolving.”

Business tourism is a large and growing global industry and an important cornerstone of Dubai’s economy.

“Conferences are big business and the number is growing worldwide, with a wider range of cities gaining market share,” said IOC Vice President Sir Craig Reedie in his opening address to Host City 2015, the leading EU-based meeting of cities and sports, business and cultural events. 

Previous editions of the WNC have attracted more than 5,000 delegates. 

“Presently, in the region, there are 4000 to 5000 neurologists and this conference presents an opportunity to discuss the latest advances and treatment methods in the field,” said Dr Suhail Al Rukn, head of stroke unit at Rashid Hospital and president of Emirates Neurological Society.

“This conference will help foster collaboration and cooperation with neurologists and neurological societies in the region and abroad.”

The next World Congress of Neurology takes place in Kyoto in Japan in 2017.


WADA president takes tough action on doping

Sir Craig Reedie speaking to broadcast media at Host City 2015 on 9th November (Photo by Michael Barr; Copyright Host City)

WADA president and IOC Vice President Sir Craig Reedie CBE on Wednesday asserted he is taking quick and strong action in response to evidence of widespread doping in athletics.

In an editorial published in the Independent, he said “There have been critics of the World Anti-Doping Agency, and critics of me, and first and foremost I don’t want people to think I’m too political or too soft.

“I can categorically state I have not been soft on Russia. It was me as president of WADA that agreed with several national anti-doping organisations to create an independent commission to look into the subject of doping in Russia, the results of which we saw in all its damning detail in Geneva on Monday.”

Speaking to press at Host City 2015 on Monday, Reedie said WADA was responding to calls to be tougher.

"I think the world will want us to be much stricter and aggressive in saying whether people are compliant or not.”

The independent report revealed that officials at a WADA accredited drug testing laboratory in Moscow destroyed 1,417 samples and accepted bribes to cover up positive tests. 

“It’s quite clear that that was organised between a laboratory, a national anti-doping association, almost certainly a national athletics association – three different organisations combining to beat the system.”

WADA reacted immediately by provisionally suspending the laboratory’s accreditation.

"We have responsibility for the Russian anti-doping agency and its state of compliance – quite clearly it is not compliant at the moment – we can deal with that.

“As far as the national athletics federation in Russia is concerned, that is the responsibility of the IAAF and their responsibility under the code is to make sure that the national federations are code-compliant. We will clearly work with the IAAF as closely as they want us to and as we are able to resolve this issue.”

Asked by press at Host City 2015 whether the IAAF leadership was able to handle the crisis, he said “I think the allegations of people at the top end of the IAAF are intensely regrettable. They have done the sport in my view great damage. 

“This is a newly elected council, a new president. And yes I think the new leadership can do it. It’s not going to be easy and it’s going to involve a great deal of effort, but we will help them as best we can.”

Responding to a question from Host City magazine about whether athletes are in some cases victims, he said: “My experience is that very few drug cheats do it themselves; they almost always have somebody else. So I am very happy with the principle that we deal with the athlete’s entourage; the rules also say that we deal with the athlete. 

“But I agree with you; if you coaches and people who are administering drugs to athletes then they are in many ways more guilty than the athletes themselves.” 

Reedie told Host City how WADA has become stronger under his leadership. 

“We greatly strengthened the new 2015 code by specifically targeting the athletes’ entourage. Secondly we created an offence called ‘prohibited association’, so if an athlete is associating with a known member of the entourage who has been convicted of a doping offence then the athlete shouldn’t be there. 

“We have produced a list and that’s now current. If any of the officials mentioned in the Pound report are sanctioned they will immediately be put on that list.”

The next phase of the WADA-commissioned report will investigate allegations beyond Russia. 

“Is there a sense that things could get worse before they get better? Quite possibly. We still await further revelations from the commission and, because of its independence, I genuinely have no idea what those revelations will be,” Reedie wrote in the Independent. 

“At the end of the day, I think good will come out of evil," he told press at Host City 2015.


David Grevemberg awarded CBE as Host City 2015 opens

Host City and Cavendish Group CEO Matthew Astill (left) congratulating David Grevemberg CBE at Host City 2015

The Commonwealth Games Federation’s Chief Executive Officer, and former Chief Executive of Glasgow 2014 Ltd., David Grevemberg, has been appointed by Her Majesty The Queen as an honorary Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE).

The announcement was made by the Commonwealth Games Federation on Monday morning, just before Grevemberg spoke on the opening panel discussion of Host City 2015 conference in Glasgow. 

The honour is conferred in recognition of services to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. 

In a statement issued on Monday morning – just before his arrival at Host City 2015 – Grevemberg said: “The XX Commonwealth Games were a defining moment for Glasgow, Scotland and the Commonwealth Games Movement. 

“Whilst it is incredibly humbling to be recognised for my contribution, the successes and impacts of the Games were only made possible by the hard work and support of our partners, participants, staff and citizens. 

“I would like to thank Her Majesty for this honour, and look forward to an inspiring, impactful future for the Commonwealth Games Movement, a powerful symbol of the flourishing, modern Commonwealth and its citizens”.

David Grevemberg CBE spoke on the opening panel discussion of Host City 2015 conference on the subject of “How Events and Cities Innovate to Thrive”.

Commonwealth Games Federation President, Louise Martin CBE also spoke at Host City 2015. 

“This special honour is testimony to the success and continued legacy of the Best Games Ever, as Glasgow and its people delivered one of the standout performances in Commonwealth sporting history,” she said in the CGF statement. 

“I congratulate David on this honour, as we reflect on many happy memories of the Games and move forward with our ambitious plans to deliver Transformation 2022 with our members and stakeholders”.

Born in 1972 in Louisiana, USA, David was a former wrestler, coach and administrator, before taking up post in 1999 as Executive Director of Sport and International Federation Relations at the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), headquartered in Bonn, Germany. 

He moved to Scotland to lead the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee in 2009 and still lives near Glasgow with his family. He joined the Commonwealth Games Federation as Chief Executive in November 2014.

The honour is a recognition of the transformational power of Commonwealth sport and its recent positive impact on Glasgow.

Speaking about last year’s HOST CITY conference, Grevemberg said: “I found it enlightening. The calibre of people that attended and spoke was excellent; it was excellent to meet so many experts with a shared perspective and passion and belief that the hosting of major events is a force for good.” 


HOST CITY 2015 welcomes leaders of global events to Glasgow

Karel Bartak, Bridget McConnell CBE, David Grevemberg CBE, Mike Lee OBE and Sir Craig Reedie CBE on the opening panel of Host City 2015

Leading figures from the world of sport governance and major event ownership convened in Glasgow on Monday and Tuesday for the HOST CITY 2015 Exhibition and Conference.

Under this year’s theme of “Creative Innovation Connecting Sports, Business and Cultural Events”, Host City is the foremost EU-based meeting of cities and sports, business and cultural events.

Heading up a list of world-class speakers, Sir Craig Reedie CBE, Vice President, International Olympic Committee (IOC), called for host cities of major sporting events to take their lead from the IOC’s Agenda 2020 reform, which has recently seen the Olympic organisation implement a process of positive change.

In his opening keynote address on creative innovation, Sir Craig Reedie CBE said: “The real innovation [of the Agenda 2020 bid process] is what we choose to call the invitation phase. The aim of this phase is to provide an ongoing dialogue with targeted information tailored to meet the city’s specific needs and their own long-term development plans. 

“Cities are assisted to better shape their value propositions, discussing proposals and potential solutions that deliver excellent gains without compromising the field of play for the athletes but also meeting the needs of the city and the region to ensure the Games leave a positive, long-term and sustainable legacy.

David Grevemberg CBE, Chief Executive of the Commonwealth Games Federation and head of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, continued this theme on a panel that explored how events and cities can innovate to thrive, by explaining how fresh approaches can enable cities to activate their brands, economy and society.

“What we tried to do [with the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games] was to make sure that every milestone we achieved resonated with accessibility and inclusivity for all,” said Grevemberg.

“That was a narrative that the entire partnership subscribed to and held each other accountable to. That approach was innovative in terms of its responsibility.

“The model we created, certainly for the city of Glasgow, will endure for some time - the innovation of creating a legacy conscious model and approach to delivering major events for a greater cause. How do we promote a more peaceful environment, how do we drive a more sustainable approach within cities and how do we help them prosper. If we can drive these things then we can stay relevant as a Federation and as an event.”

The conference also heard from the European Commission’s Head of Culture Karel Bartak, who provided cities bidding for the European Capital of Culture programme with an invaluable briefing, the organisers of some of Europe’s biggest business conventions including EuroScience and Jaarbeurs, and several city representatives.

Also speaking on day one on the topic of the changing face of sports organisations were influential heads of International Federations including  Brian Cookson, President of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI),   Sarah Lewis, Secretary General of the International Skiing Federation (FIS) and the Association of International Winter Sports Federations and Louise Martin CBE, President of the Commonwealth Games Federation and Chair of sportscotland

Brian Cookson, President of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), said “The practicalities of Agenda 2020 have hit us quite hard, as a sport we’ve been asked to accept some pretty radical changes for Tokyo 2020 for instance, perhaps more radical than any other sport, and that includes looking at moving our venues quite some distance from Tokyo. That’s a work in progress; we’re quite close to a solution on that.

“But I think if anything Agenda 2020 didn’t go far enough – I think we have to keep adapting to change. Change isn’t something that you do once and forget about it, you have to keep adapting, keep evolving and if you don’t, like the dinosaurs, you become extinct and we don’t want to do that.”

Delegates were also provided with an update on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games from Hidetoshi Fujisawa, Executive Director of Communication and Engagement, Tokyo 2020.

“It’s been a little more than two years since Tokyo was elected and the enthusiasm and passion for the games remains as clear as ever,” said Fujisawa. “The Tokyo 2020 organising committee has not wasted a second in preparing the delivery of the Games.

“Tokyo 2020’s vision is clear. We believe sport has the power to change the world and our future. The Tokyo 1964 Games completely transformed Japan and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, as the most innovative in history, will bring positive reform to the world by building on three core concepts: achieving personal best, unity in diversity and connecting to tomorrow.”

Additional Host City 2015 conference highlights included a panel session on how events, brands and media organisations use creative marketing to maximise consumer engagement – featuring notable speakers including Simon Clegg CBE, former COO, Baku 2015 European Games and Ali Russell, Director of Media and Strategic Partnerships, Formula E.

Day one of the conference concluded with a panel debate on how to build public support as cities bid for and host major international events. The discussion was led by key voices in international sport, including Alexander Koch, Corporate Communications Manager for FIFA and Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events, Visit Scotland.

Paul Bush, OBE, who was involved in the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, called into question the decision to rely on referendums to gauge public support:

“I’m not a great fan of public votes around major events, I often think they can get hijacked politically so you have to be quite cautionary about how you engage with the public.

“I do think you have to engage, we did some interesting awareness polls around the 2014 [Commonwealth] Games but in terms of actually having referendums, I’m talking about the Boston [2024] situation or the Hamburg [2024] situation, I think you’ve got to be really careful because you won’t always get the result that you’re looking for.” 

Host City 2015 is the leading EU-based meeting of cities and sports, business and cultural events. Under the theme of “Creative Innovation Connecting Cities with Sports, Business and Culture Events” the conference attracted more than 200 of the world’s leading cities, rights holders and suppliers.

For further information on the panel sessions and other top class speakers for Host City 2015, please visit:

All the Host City 2015 conference keynote addresses and plenary session content be streamed at - provided by sound-sharing platform audioBoom.

IOC suspends former IAAF president Lamine Diack

Photo: IAAF

The IOC Executive Board on Tuesday suspended the honorary IOC membership of Lamine Diack, former president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) following the publication of a World Anti-Doping Report on Monday.

“The Independent Commission’s Report contains a series of findings that will shock and appal athletes and sports fans worldwide, and indeed many issues that highlight very current deficiencies with the anti-doping system in Russia,” said WADA President and IOC Vice President Sir Craig Reedie on Monday, during Host City 2015 conference in Glasgow.

Following the publication of the report, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said it was “closely monitoring the situation” and expects the IAAF and WADA to “consider all necessary action to be taken to protect the clean athletes and rebuild trust”.

The IOC’s Executive Board on Tuesday confirmed the proposal of the IOC Ethics Commission to provisionally suspend Mr. Lamine Diack, the former President of IAAF, from his honorary membership of the IOC.

In a statement, the IOC said it has asked the IAAF to initiate disciplinary procedures against all athletes, coaches and officials who have participated in the Olympic Games and are accused of doping in the report of the Independent Commission. 

“With its zero-tolerance policy against doping, following the conclusion of this procedure, the IOC will take all the necessary measures and sanctions with regard to the withdrawal and reallocation of medals and as the case may be exclusion of coaches and officials from future Olympic Games,” the statement said. 

The news follows WADA’s suspension of its accreditation of the Moscow Antidoping Center. The laboratory is now restricted from carrying out any WADA-related anti-doping activities including all analyses of urine and blood samples. 

The IOC said it has no reason to question the credibility of the results of the anti-doping tests carried out at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, but will retain all the doping samples for ten years and retest samples “in an appropriate way should substantial doubts arise. In any case, the IOC may retest samples once new scientific techniques become available”.

“While the contents of the Report are deeply disturbing, the investigation is hugely positive for the clean athlete as it contains significant recommendations for how WADA and its partners in the anti-doping community can, and must, take swift corrective action to ensure anti-doping programs of the highest order are in place across the board,” said Sir Craig Reedie.

“WADA is fully committed in its role of leading the charge to protect the rights of clean athletes worldwide.”


LA 2024 delighted with Host City 2015 attendance

Janet Evans, Vice Chair of the LA 2024 Olympic bid committee attended Host City 2015 in a non-speaking capacity to "look, listen and learn"

LA 2024 Vice Chair and four-time Olympic swimming champion Janet Evans attended Host City 2015 conference in Glasgow this week, marking the start of a busy period for the LA 2024 Candidature Committee which includes attending the IOC 2024 Candidate City workshops in Lausanne (November 19-20) and the European Olympic Committees (EOC) General Assembly in Prague (November 20-21).

The Host City 2015 conference, which took place in Glasgow on November 9-10, offered Evans, who is also LA 2024 Director of Athlete Relations, the chance to learn from the experiences of a range of leaders from across the Olympic Movement.

LA 2024 Chairman Casey Wasserman said: “We are delighted that Janet is attending the Host City conference in Glasgow with so many Olympic experts present. We are very much in our ‘looking, listening and learning’ phase and these types of events are an invaluable part of this process.

“We will also send a significant LA 2024 delegation to Lausanne for the IOC 2024 Candidate City workshops; which will provide the ideal opportunity to engage and interact with the IOC on the path ahead.

“The EOC General Assembly in Prague represents a further opportunity, after the ANOC General Assembly in Washington, D.C., to consult with the NOC family. Their athletes are at the very heart of the Olympic Movement and IOC President Thomas Bach’s visionary Olympic Agenda 2020. The NOCs have a critical role in preparing and supporting athletes, so it is vital that we consult with them whenever possible.”

HOST CITY 2015 experts predict rise in multi-city events

Host City has firmly established itself as the leading EU-based meeting of cities and sports, business and cultural events

HOST CITY 2015 Conference and Exhibition drew to a close in Glasgow on Tuesday following two days of open discussions exploring the challenges and benefits of bidding for and hosting major global events.

Now in its second year, Host City has firmly established itself as the leading EU-based meeting of cities and sports, business and cultural events. Under the theme ‘Creative Innovation’ HOST CITY 2015 brought together a unique collection of city leaders and cross-sector rights holders, event owners, suppliers and world class-speakers in the business of major international events.

High on the agenda on the final day of the conference was the issue of sustainability and how a multi-city approach to hosting could allow events of the future to remain viable and grow by increasing their reach.

Speaking on the UEFA EURO 2020 Championships, Stewart Regan, Chief Executive of the Scottish Football Association, host of four matches within the tournament, said: “As you can imagine it’s a huge logistical exercise - trying to plan for one country and several stadia is a big exercise but imagine doing that across 13 countries. 

“Planning the security, planning the logistics of moving sponsors, fans, and broadcasters around Europe - it’s a massive exercise. But the benefits of involving 13 countries, including some of the smaller countries who couldn’t host an event on their own, outweigh the challenges that the logistics present.”

Hampden Park in Glasgow will stage three UEFA Euro 2020 group stage games and one last 16 match.

Paul Bristow, Director of European Sports Championships Management argued that a multi-city approach could have sustainability benefits for future events. 

“The key word here is sustainability. We have too many white elephants,” he said. 

“We can be smarter in the way that we use existing facilities but at the same time still use major events to promote investment in sustainable new facilities that cities need. And if we can combine existing facilities in cities that will work together in partnership then I think that is a sustainable model.”

Paul Dunphy, Major Events Consultant for SportBusiness Intelligence and former Manager Event Prospecting and Bidding at Auckland Tourism Events & Economic Development said: “I think it is a long-term innovative approach. We had the Cricket World Cup in New Zealand and Australia recently and when you’re a small nation with minimal resources you need to be innovative. The [2015] Cricket World Cup was a great example of how multi-city, multi-national events are the future.”

Also under discussion was the critical question of how transport and security strategies contribute to the success of bidding for and hosting major events, including creating positive post-event legacies for cities. Malcolm Tarbitt, Executive Director – Safety and Security for the International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS), said: “Major sporting events are short-term initiatives that have major long-term impact and they pose a tremendous challenge to host nations in terms of their image, sovereignty and integrity.

“In the past few years the cost of hosting major sporting events has increased astoundingly, including cost of security strategies and operations plans. The threat landscape is ever changing, ever evolving and the responsibility on bidding nations and organising committees is becoming ever greater to determine, manage and defend their security plans and budgets. To mitigate this you need to involve security upfront, as early as possible and apply a holistic and integrated approach to planning.”

Other leading speakers across the two-day conference included: Sir Craig Reedie CBE, Vice President, International Olympic Committee; Louise Martin CBE, President, Commonwealth Games Federation; David Grevemberg CBE, CEO, Commonwealth Games Federation; Brian Cookson OBE, President of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI); Sarah Lewis, Secretary General of the International Ski Federation (FIS) and the Association of International Winter Sports Federations; Alexander Koch, Corporate Communications Manager for FIFA; Hidetoshi Fujisawa, Executive Director of Communication and Engagement, Tokyo 2020; Simon Clegg CBE, former COO, Baku 2015 European Games; and Ali Russell, Director of Media and Strategic Partnerships, Formula E.