LONDON, England, July 20. THE International Olympic Committee. They are the ones who will be in the priority traffic lanes, the plushest hotels and the best seats in London this summer– and at every Olympics after that. They produce their own bland and self-congratulatory biographies on the IOC website. We have tried a little harder. Some of the information we have published will upset them. That fact it is true will upset them even more.
Meet The Real IOC is a piece of citizen journalism put together by a group of athletes, journalists and activists from all over the world in a bid to seek the truth about the IOC.
Our biographies of all 106 members can be downloaded in full as a resource for free from Transparency Books, but here are some of the most shocking things we found:
* There are 10 princes and princesses on the IOC and at least another 2 people from military ruling families. Most of these have zero work experience, zero athletic experience and little, if any, sports administration experience.
* Two IOC Members, Pal Schmitt and Dae Sung Moon, who were both also politicians in their home countries, were found to have plagiarised parts of their PhD theses. Both men are still IOC members, because it seems that cheating on your PhD thesis is not relevant to making IOC decisions.
* Less than a third of IOC members are Olympic athletes, and just one is a Paralympian.
* Kun-Hee Lee at Samsung was convicted of embezzlement and tax evasion to the tune of $3.8bn, but his criminal convictions were pardoned and he didn't lose his IOC seat.
* What is not said is often more shocking than what is. No female members from the Arab World spoke publicly about Saudi's decision to not send women to the 2012 London Olympics.
* No female IOC members from winter sports spoke up for the women ski jumpers who were excluded from the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, despite a Canadian judge finding that the IOC was discriminating against them because they were women.
* IOC members have been described as unsalaried volunteers but when traveling on IOC business, their expenses are paid and they receive a generous per diem allowance. They demand 5 star hotels, despite athletes only getting 3 star accommodation.
* Thirty years after the IOC said they would open up to women's leadership, still only 19% of members are women. Those few women are recent additions and have no real power. Just two women sit on the powerful IOC Executive Board.
* Guy Drut was convicted of corruption in France, but pardoned to keep his IOC seat. Vladimir Smirnov was implicated in the Salt Lake scandals and reprimanded but remains an IOC member.
* 8 current members got their seats from one of their parents, including Juan Samaranch Jr. who was added by his father, former President of the IOC.
* And so much more!
Unless and until the IOC opens up its systems and books publicly, nothing will change.
Meet The Real IOC was thought up by two-time Olympic swimmer from Canada Nikki Dryden and British journalist and author Andrew Jennings.
Now a human rights and immigration lawyer, Nikki actively speaks and writes about issues at the nexus of sport and human rights at conferences all over the world including Play The Game and the World Conference on Women and Sport. She recently published a law review article on gender discrimination and the IOC in the International Sports Law Journal.
Andrew is an investigative reporter best known for his work investigating and writing about corruption in the IOC and FIFA. He has written four books on these issues and in 2000 he won the Royal Television Society Award for his Channel 4 News investigation on Olympic corruption.
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