November 7, 2014 / 9:34 AM / 4 years ago

Bach tells IOC members 'it's time' for change

BANGKOK (Reuters) - International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach has called on sports leaders to quit talking and start taking action to reform the way the body runs the Olympics.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach leaves after a news conference after a three-day executive board meeting in Lausanne July 9, 2014. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Bach used his opening address at the Association of National Olympic Committees general assembly (ANOC) in Bangkok on Friday to urge delegates to support his 40-point plan to modernize the IOC and the Olympic Games.

Although the full details of his proposals have yet to be publicized, Bach told delegates it was crucial that they supported the changes when they were voted on in December.

“The time to change is now,” he told the ANOC general assembly, which represents more than 200 national Olympic committees.

“We have been discussing for one year. Now is the time for agreeing on something.

“If we want to preserve our values, we have to move. If we stand still we are falling behind.”

Bach, who was elected to the IOC presidency in Argentina in 2013, has spent his first year working on sweeping reforms and has given some clues to his recommendations to overhaul the Olympics.

One of the German’s key proposals is to make the Olympics more attractive and affordable for bidding cities, an issue that has been thrust into the spotlight after four of the original six candidates for the 2022 Winter Games pulled out, leaving just Beijing and Almaty in contention.

He also wants to bring more sports into the Games — which host cities may be able to pick and choose — and launch a dedicated Olympic television channel.

Bach has said the full details would be released this month before the vote takes place at the IOC’s end-of-year session in Monaco on Dec. 8.

The ANOC executive committee has already seen the proposals and given their full backing to the plan after meeting earlier in the week.

“We unanimously support all the recommendations made by the IOC Executive Board,” ANOC President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah said.

The influential Kuwaiti, who also heads the Olympic Council of Asia, was re-elected, unopposed, for another four years as ANOC chief on Friday.

Editing by John O'Brien

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