Source: CRI

08-24-2008 22:45

Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), defended China's sports system which led to its medal haul at the Beijing Games, saying all systems are legitimate as long as they respect ethical values and the athletes.

The host nation has topped the gold medal table at the Games for the first time with 50 golds, leaving the United States well in its wake.

Chinese sports officials attributed the success to a nationwide system of selecting and training talent, and some questioned if such a system goes against the Olympic spirit.

"I think it's absolutely legitimate to have an ethical detection system. There's no problem with that," Rogge told a press conference.

"And by the way, most countries do that on different measures. Some do it in a very scientific way, others do it by bringing athletes together and organizing competitions and seeing who naturally emerges.

"If you look around the world, all the successful countries have national training centers in all the sports. All the countries in the world bring together the best athletes and get the scientific training. The bottom line is the respect the ethical values and the respect of the athletes," he added.