MOSCOW, July 5 (R-Sport) – The soaring costs of hosting the Olympic Games could be in for a trim if Ukrainian pole vault legend Sergei Bubka is elected president of the International Olympic Committee, he told R-Sport on Friday.
Next year is to see the most expensive Olympics in history, with an estimated $46 billion ploughed into the Winter Games in the Russian city of Sochi, surpassing Beijing 2008, which reportedly cost up to $44 billion.
World record holder Bubka is one of six candidates for president, all of whom gave campaign speeches at a closed session of the IOC on Thursday.
The IOC should “continue to look for balance in expenditure on hosting the Olympic Games,” Bubka said.
“Clear planning, correct management of the legacy left over from the Games, using existing facilities, and also the experience organizers have received – those are very important factors in the success of our job.”
Both the Sochi and Beijing Olympic preparations involved building almost all the facilities from scratch, while the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver kept costs down to just $1.3 billion, largely thanks to using existing arenas.
Bubka said he would also focus on the fight against doping, if elected, which he called “the most serious challenge facing the Olympic movement in the 21st century,” citing current president Jacques Rogge.
The Ukrainian’s other major campaign promise was to work with bookmakers and governments to prevent Olympic results being rigged.
The other candidates for September’s vote in Buenos Aires are two IOC vice presidents, Thomas Bach and Ng Ser Miang, as well as boxing chief C.K. Wu, rowing’s Denis Oswald and IOC finance committee head Richard Carrion.