IOC recognizes Beijing’s anti-pollution efforts

By Xinhua

Guatemala City : The International Olympic Committee has formally recognized the efforts made by Chinese authorities to reduce air pollution in Beijing ahead of the 2008 Olympics games, IOC spokesperson Giselle Davies told reporters.

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"They have told us about the work they have done, for example refurbishing a thousand coal-burning generators in plants and factories, and replacing 50,000 aging cars and around 10,000 aging buses," Davies told a press conference Monday in Guatemala City, where the IOC will begin its 119th assembly Wednesday.

She said that Chinese authorities had invited members of the IOC executive committee to test the contingency measures that would be used in special cases.

"They have a plan under which, from August 7 to 20 they expect to remove a million cars from circulation to see how this would work in an emergency," Davies said.

She added that the IOC executive committee had received reports from Olympic Games organizers until 2012.

Davies said that although the IOC committee has 111 members, only 97 can vote. A candidate must get 49 votes to win the bid outright in the first round itself. If no candidate gets the requisite votes, the city receiving the least number of votes is eliminated, leaving the field clear for the remaining two candidates.

Davies said the three nations – South Korea (2), Russia (3) and Austria – campaigning for 2014 Winter Games cannot vote. Two IOC members from Germany must also abstain since one of the venues – Salzburg – in the Austrian bid is located in that country.

The IOC president (Jacque Rogge) does not vote in any election.

India's Randhir Singh along with one member each from Saudi Arabia, New Zealand, Leichstentein and Sweden have been excused from attending the IOC Congress and hence will not vote.

Members from the country eliminated in the first round of ballots are eligible to vote in the next round.