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Christophe De Keppersucceeds Urs Lacotteas IOC DirectorGeneralChristophe De Kepperhas been named IOCDirector General by theIOC Executive Board toreplace Urs Lacottewho stepped down dueto health reasons on 31March. A lawyer bytraining, De Kepperjoined the IOC in 2001as Chief of Staff afteracting as Director ofthe European OlympicCommittee's (EOC)Office at the EuropeanUnion (EU). He alsoworked for the EUCommission in Brusselsand the Belgian NOC. A Belgian national, De Kepper, 47, speaksFrench, English,German, Dutch and Spanish.On International Women's Day on 8 March, the IOC announced that the theme of next year's IOC World Conference on Women and Sport is "Together Stronger: The Future of Sport". The event will take place from 16 to 18 February2012 in Los Angeles, USA, and is being organisedjointly by the IOC, the United States OlympicCommittee (USOC) and the Southern CaliforniaCommittee for the Olympic Games.Women's participation is key for a healthysociety in general, but also for the future of sport.The IOC has made women's participation in sporting activities and administration one of itsmajor concerns. The participation of women in theGames has increased from 23 per cent in 1984 in Los Angeles to nearly 43 per cent at the 2008Beijing Games. At the inaugural Youth OlympicGames (YOG) in Singapore last summer, 46 percent of the athletes were women. With the additionof women's boxing to the Olympic programme, the 2012 Games in London will have womencompeting in every sport on the Olympicprogramme for the first time.However, while the clear rise in women'sparticipation in Olympic events is an importantsuccess, additional efforts are needed to strengthenwomen's representation in sports leadershippositions. The IOC encourages more women to takeup responsible positions in sports organisations andhas different programmes in place to equip thecandidates with the necessary skills and tools tofulfil their tasks. Customised seminars and trainingprogrammes help women move into sportsadministration and other leadership roles.Furthermore, the IOC offers financial support toNational Olympic Committees (NOCs) in thedeveloping world for projects that promote equalityon the field of play and in sports administration. The last Women and Sport Conference held inJordan 2008 attracted more than 600 participantsfrom 116 countries and concluded with a strongaction plan, the success of which will also beassessed in Los Angeles.TASK FORCE TOFIGHTIRREGULAR ANDILLEGAL SPORTBETTINGWARMUPFOR2012IOCWORLD CONFERENCEONWOMENANDSPORTBEGINSRepresentatives from the sports world,governments,international organisations andbetting operators agreed to create a task forceassigned to work on a set of action points theyapproved during the first Working Meeting onIrregular and Illegal Sport Betting, held at the IOCheadquarters in Lausanne in March. The purpose of the meeting, chaired by IOC President JacquesRogge, was to share knowledge, strengthencooperation and take steps to set up a permanentsystem of information exchange. The task force will comprise members of the sports movement,governments, international organisations andbetting operators, and will seek to address thefollowing action points:?The necessity and possibilities for governments,international organisations and sports bettingoperators to support the sports world in its efforts to protect the integrity of sports competitions?The various means to strengthen cooperationbetween themselves to fight more effectivelyagainst all forms of cheating in sport, particularlythose linked to irregular and illegal betting?The various existing systems, national laws, self-regulating systems and implementationmethods, in order to identify effective methods forcross-border cooperation?The various existing systems of enforcement,punishment and measures in terms of education?Appropriate methods of funding to support theefforts of the sports movement to protect theintegrity of competitionsIn addition to government ministers from severalcountries, the meeting included members ofInterpol, the United Nations, NOCs, IFs and the IOC.The IOC first took preventative measures to tacklethe problem of illegal betting five years ago and hasbeen proactive in its fight ever since. The IOC's Codeof Ethics was amended in 2006 to forbid allparticipants in the Olympic Games from betting onOlympic events, and subsequent measures havebeen aimed at raising awareness of the issue,safeguarding the integrity of the Games and sport in general, and strengthening collaboration withpartners inside and outside of the Movement.BelowThe participation of women in the OlympicGames increased to nearly 43% inBeijingOLYMPIC REVIEW13NEWS INBRIEF