From Mihir Bose, BBC Sports Editor
Although the Olympics do not begin until August 8 – the Chinese consider 8 so lucky that they planned the opening ceremony for 8pm on 08/08/08 – the week before the Games begin is always an important one in terms of sports politics.
This is when meetings of the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee and the wider IOC session are held, meetings which bring together the great and good from the world of sport.
While it is easy to mock these gatherings as jollies for the blazer brigade, they remain the most important gathering of those who run world sports.
The 115-strong IOC comprises leaders of various sports federations, assorted European and Asian royals and other individuals, sports administrators and businessmen from different countries, all of whom make up the Olympic family.
… as a journalist, you rely on the people who have been behind the closed doors to emerge and tell you what has happened. More often than not, they do so – but on the understanding you will not quote them. So you can divulge the information, but not attribute that information directly to them.
Which is where the well-worn journalistic phrase ‘source’ comes into play. Judging by some of your recent comments, some of you find it frustrating when I use language like ‘I understand’ or ‘a source told me’ in my blog. And I will take that on board.
But I hope you can also appreciate, especially when it comes to the IOC and Olympics stories, or for that matter football business and politics stories too, why that is sometimes necessary.
It honestly isn’t me deliberately trying to hide anything or make a story more involved than it needs to be. In an ideal world everyone would speak up front, and every document would be available for all, but often it just doesn’t work like that.
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