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AIPS unhappy with Rio 2016 Olympic organizers and accuse IOC of not being transparent

AIPS unhappy with Rio 2016 Olympic organizers and accuse IOC of not being transparent

President of the International Sports Press Association (AIPS) has openly criticized organizers of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio Geneiro Brazil, and strongly accused the International Olympic Committee of not being transparent with the issue of press accreditation.   IOC President Thomas Bach

Gianni Merlo, whilst reacting to a presentation by Lucia Montanarella of Press Operations Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, on Tuesday 3rd March 2015 at the French Olympic Committee Headquarters in Paris said that it was difficult to accept the cost of hotels for sports journalists wanting to cover the events.

“We (AIPS) appreciate the free WI-FI in some areas but we cannot accept the cost of the hotels as it was not in the agreement,” he said, adding: “the organizing committee said all internet facility is free but we have to buy wire in the tribune of the stadium so it means what they are telling us is not true because we are paying for the heritage and legacy!”

The visibly angry AIPS President furthered that every Olympic sports journalists cover, the price increases.

Gianni Merlo lambasted seriously the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for according to him, “being discriminatory against sports journalists.”

“The IOC normally grants accreditation to the NOCs and this is not acceptable. They should cooperate with the national sports journalist associations in terms of issuing out accreditation but it seems the IOC is still working in the last two centuries and not the 21st century because, some NOCs give accreditation to fiancés , friends and relatives,” he said.

He said there was every need to dialogue with the organizers of the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“It is time to raise our (AIPS) voice or else these organizations will continue to suck our blood,” he said, insisting: “ we must react immediately, it is time to compel the IOC to be transparent and say the truth because the IOC always talk about transparency but are not transparent to sports journalists.”

The IOC Head of Media Operations Antony Edgar argued every single NOC wants more accreditation but not every NOC gets enough.

“We are still working on the same quota of accreditation introduced during the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta because if we increase, it means we have to have more rooms and more seats at stadiums,” Antony Edgar said, and advised any AIPS member having problems with accreditation should report to the association for further dialogue.

Credit: SWASAL; Sponsor: Mercury International (SL) Ltd.
By Frank Cole in Paris          

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