DOPING, TV ARE TOPICS AT FIS CONFERENCE
MIAMI, Fla. (June 8) — Anti-doping and TV strategy were among the key issues for the meeting of the International Ski Federation's every-second-year Congress in Miami. The FIS Congress unanimously adopted the World Anti-Doping Code and took initial steps towards implementation of a new strategy for better management of television rights.
Nearly 1,000 Representatives from 102 ski and snowboard nations took part in the week of meetings.
“Two of our biggest issues within our sport internationally are anti-doping and the marketing of our sports through TV,” said U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association President and CEO Bill Marolt, who also sits on the FIS Council as a vice president. “These two actions are positive steps, but we have to be vigilant in moving forward.”
In adopting the World Anti-Doping Code, the FIS became one of nearly 40 international sports which have ratified the Code, introduced last year by the World Anti-Doping Agency. The FIS Council had adopted the Code last year, pending final ratification by the FIS Congress. The WADA Code essentially establishes a global framework for anti-doping management.
“We will continue to take a strong position on anti-doping to protect the image of our sport and to ensure our athletes — and all athletes — can enjoy a common playing field,” said Marolt.
On the television front, the FIS Congress put its support behind a plan to hopefully lead to centralization of television rights for the FIS World Cups, with an action plan to be put into place in the next two years.
“I'm honestly encouraged by the progress I'm starting to see in this area,” said Marolt. “This is an area which is going to require significant leadership on the part of the FIS and the national associations. We have a long ways to go, but I see signs that the FIS management is more willing to look at progressive means to manage our rights together.”
The direction to seek centralization of rights is the outgrowth of an independent study commissioned by the FIS.
The FIS Council also awarded sites for World Championships through 2009. In addition, the FIS Congress approved the concept of cash prizes for athletes at the World Championships to be implemented at a later date.Â
Freestyle – Madonna di Campiglio, Italy
Snowboard – Arosa, Switzerland
Alpine – Are, Sweden (previously chosen)
Nordic – Sapporo, Japan (previously chosen)
Alpine – Val d'Isere, France
Nordic – Liberec, Czech Republic
Freestyle – Inawashiro, Japan
Snowboard – Gangwon Province, South Korea