Chicago's Olympics bid clears hurdle


Chicago’s 2016 Summer Olympic bid has avoided a potential problem with the U.S. Senate’s ratification of the UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport.

The International Olympic Committee has made a country’s ratification of the 2005 convention a pre-condition to have an Olympic host city.

The national governments of Chicago’s three rivals in the 2016 contest, Tokyo, Madrid and Rio de Janeiro, already had ratified the convention.

"This was a significant hurdle that coordinated work by the U.S. Olympic Committee, the government and our partners in Chicago helped overcome," said Bob Ctvrtlik, the USOC vice-president for international relations.


The Senate action, reported in Monday’s Congressional record, also included a section indicating that its ratification includes the "understanding of the United States of America that nothing in this Convention obligates the United States to provide funding to the World Anti-Doping Agency."

That section likely was included to prevent the WADA members from asking the United States to pay an unreasonably large amount.

The U.S. agreed in 2004 to underwrite 50 percent of the Americas’ share of WADA funding and has paid $1.7 million for 2008. According to the WADA web site, Japan has paid $1.5 million (the second-largest contribution in the world) and Spain $379,000. Brazil has yet to pay its 2008 contribution of $143,000.

"We are pleased the U.S. Senate recognizes the importance of UNESCO’s anti-doping treaty and shares in this common goal to support the integrity and spirit of the Olympic Games," said Patrick G. Ryan, chairman and CEO of Chicago 2016. "As a bid we are committed to clean competition and applaud the efforts of the U.S. Senate, in particular our own Illinois senator, Richard Durbin."

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