December 8, 1998.
Prime Minister Siimann met today at Toompea with Jacques Rogge, thePresident of Europe's International Olympic Committee, and thanked himfor the moral and material support given to Estonia's Olympic movement.According to Siimann, Rogge is the first high level sports official tovisit Toompea.
Siimann stated that he does not think of sport only as a physical activity,but also as a means of gaining idealistic and ethical values that are usefulfor people in other areas of work, such as politicians, for example.
According to Siimann, the Olympic movement has a long history in Estonia,but due to the occupation interval it has been necessary to rearrange relationsbetween sport and the government and the state. "It's well known how sportswere directed in totalitarian states and what means were used for that.Presently we are creating for sports a legal environment suitable for ademocratic state," Siimann added.
Siimann criticized the use of drugs in sports and emphasized that Estoniawill do everything possible to prevent the use of drugs. "Although drugpromoters and supporters of honest competition are constantly battling,we believe that honest game will win," the Prime Minister said.
Rogge described the preparations for the year 2000 Olympic Games andthought that they will be very successful. "Australians are working veryhard at it," Rogge added.
Speaking of the International Olympic Committee's goals, Rogge saidthat one of them is to increase relations between the sports movement andthe European Union.