By Karolos Grohmann
COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - The International Olympic Committee has so far weathered the economic crisis, emerging largely unscathed and with its finances still solid, IOC President Jacques Rogge said on Thursday. Rogge was speaking at the opening ceremony of an IOC session in the Danish capital where members will choose the hosts of the 2016 Summer Olympics on Friday from Madrid, Tokyo, Chicago and Rio de Janeiro.
Rogge, who is expected to win a second term unopposed in elections at the session, said despite the economic crisis which has also hit the sports world, mainly at grassroots level, the IOC was in good condition.
"Like every other major organization, we have felt the effects of the global economic downturn," Rogge, president since 2001, said.
"We have met the challenges together, and our movement is as strong as ever," he said at the ceremony held at the city's Opera House.
"The International Olympic Committee has maintained a solid financial foundation, thanks to a conservative investment strategy and strong support from our sponsoring partners and our broadcast rights-holders around the world," he said.
Rogge also said his organization would continue cracking down on drugs cheats, as the IOC seeks to root out doping from the Olympics.
"The IOC will continue to apply its zero-tolerance policy for doping, match-fixing and corruption, which seriously threaten sport," he said.
Heads of state or government from the four countries of the bid cities, including U.S. President Barack Obama, are part of the delegations presenting their candidacies to the IOC members before the vote on Friday.
(Editing by Justin Palmer)