Posted on November 17, 2016

The 2016 ANOC General Assembly has come to a close following two days of high level meetings between Olympic leaders from around the world. 205 National Olympic Committees, International Federations, International Olympic Committee members and Olympic Stakeholders came together to discuss important issues and recommend reforms that aim to enhance the Olympic Movement.

The two-day General Assembly was hosted by the Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) at the Sheraton International Convention Centre and saw over 1200 delegates participate - the biggest number in the history of the event. H.E. Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani, President of the QOC, thanked everyone at the close of the General Assembly, which was held for the first time in the region. H.E. Sheikh Joaan said: “It is my pleasure to thank each and every one of the delegates for coming all the way to Doha. I hope you had an enjoyable and productive time during the ANOC General Assembly.  I have no doubt that the decisions you have taken will benefit the Olympic Movement and athletes, as well as develop and progress sport across all fields.”

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The ANOC General Assembly adds to the growing list of successful global sporting events hosted in Qatar, which includes World Championship events in five sports over the last two years, all of which were hosted in the Middle East for the first time in their history. This trend will continue with Qatar hosting a further six World Championship events over the coming years. His Highness The Amir of Qatar received two significant awards this week in recognition of his leadership in developing sport and empowering youth in Qatar and around the world. The first was the IOC Trophy, which is awarded to those who serve sports and support the Olympic Movement, and the second was for ‘Contribution to the Olympic Movement’, which was awarded at the end of the ANOC Awards. The spectacular ceremony recognised and celebrated the achievements of the NOCs and athletes from the Rio 2016 Games.

Speaking in his closing address, Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah, President of ANOC, said: “On behalf of ANOC I would like to thank Sheikh Joaan and Qatar for organising our meeting. It has been very well organised and everyone has appreciated their visit to Doha. We have enjoyed all the side events and yesterday the Gala dinner was excellent.” During the General Assembly, ANOC pledged their commitment to developing the Olympic Movement through a number of reforms, with protecting clean athletes and the fight against doping remaining a top priority. Also on high on the agenda was the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, with ANOC vowing to build on Rio 2016’s success through the work and support of ANOC Commissions and Working groups and their recommended reforms.

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Commenting on the reforms, Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah said: “The Rio 2016 Olympic Games demonstrated the power of sport and the Olympic Movement. Half of the world watched the Games and witnessed the numerous examples of solidarity and unity demonstrated by the world’s 205 NOCs. But while Rio was a great success, we recognise that there are many areas of our Movement that need reform. We have seen here at our General Assembly that the NOC family is committed to working in cooperation with IOC to bring about real reform and ensure clean athletes are protected. “Through our ANOC Commissions and Working Groups we will continue to undergo our own internal process of reform so that we can support our NOCs and contribute to the sustainability and long-term health of the Olympic Movement.”

Other significant items on the agenda included a report from the ANOC President in which he reflected on a successful year for NOCs, in which a record number of countries competed at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and an address from the IOC President Thomas Bach, who provided an update on Olympic Agenda 2020. In addition, there were update reports from each of the five Continental Associations – ANOCA, PASO, OCA, EOC and ONOC, and the presentations of the three 2024 Olympic Candidate Cities, Budapest, Los Angeles and Paris to the Olympic Movement for the very first time. At the end of the General Assembly, it was announced that the next ANOC General Assembly will be hosted in Prague.