Bach waits in wings as Rogge Olympic reign nears end



AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE

Published — Monday 9 September 2013

Last update 15 September 2013 9:11 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

BUENOS AIRES: The six candidates bidding to be elected to the most powerful position in sport as president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) girded their loins for one final day of campaigning on Monday in Buenos Aires.
Unassuming Belgian Jacques Rogge will step down on Tuesday after a 12-year reign in what has been a largely successful term having notably been credited with restoring the image of the organization.
It is a considerable feat as Rogge had faced a tough task after the IOC had been badly tarnished in the final years of Juan Antonio Samaranch’s stewardship over the bribes for votes scandal concerning the successful Salt Lake City bid for the 2002 Winter Olympics.
The sextet of candidates — all men and none from Africa — will take over an IOC that Rogge revealed on Sunday is in great financial health and, with over $900 million in reserve, could afford the cancelation of an Olympic Games.
The relatively peaceful and private campaign — the candidates are simply appealing to a narrow electorate of around 100 — was spectacularly livened up by a bitter personal attack by race outsider Denis Oswald on the frontrunner Thomas Bach.
Oswald, the respected long-time president of the Rowing Federation, said that he would not step down in order to help Bach, far from it.
“Certainly not in the case of Thomas Bach! I don’t believe he and I share the same values!” he told Swiss radio.
“What I hear... is he is implicated in commercial affairs. He uses his position to his benefit so that he can gain contracts for the companies he represents.”
Bach fobbed the remarks off saying he hadn’t heard them and he was just focused on talking to his colleagues.
Monday’s fare for the assembled IOC members was far lower key than the two previous frenetic days of elections for the host city for 2020 — won by Tokyo — and a sport for the 2020 and 2024 Games which saw wrestling restored to the program after a remarkable seven-month fightback.
Monday saw a succession of reports by the heads of various commissions — the essence of the smooth running of the IOC.
Bach, who would become the first Olympic gold medallist to assume the role having won the team foil fencing title in 1976, produced the most interesting news when he said disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong had yet to return his bronze medal from the 2000 Sydney Olympics despite being asked to nine months ago.
Bach, a 59-year-old German lawyer, has made the IOC and its future his life.
He has done so since becoming interested in sports politics when he was irritated at the dismissive manner in which German politicians treated him in his role as the West German athletes’ spokesman in the debate over the boycott of the 1980 Olympics.
“In 1980 I was the spokesman for all the West German athletes and fought really hard for us to be able to compete in Moscow,” he told AFP in August.
“This for me was the turning point from being an athlete to entering sports politics.
“I accepted to become a member of the German NOC because I wanted to avoid the situation where a future generation of athletes would suffer in the same way — every athlete’s ambition is to compete in an Olympics and for some 1980 was their only chance.
“We were more or less dismissed by them and it was the same with regard to politics and society in general. I had discussions about the boycott with the then chancellor (Helmut Schmidt) and president (Karl Carstens) and I always had the feeling they had no interest in sport.”

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

ALKHOBAR: A power failure at the King Fahd Causeway on Wednesday night resulted in a massive traffic congestion, even as officials failed to explain the cause of the snag, local media reported.A power outage for 74 minutes on the link between the Kin...
JEDDAH: A female Saudi lawyer was able to get a stay order on a ruling by the general court in Jeddah that awarded custody of a two-year-old girl to her father. She successfully argued to get the court order reversed that gave custody back to the mot...
JEDDAH: The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (Haia) said that combating harassment cases is part of its responsibility to promote Islamic values and morals in society.“Those harassing women will be brought to book,” s...
RIYADH: A thick layer of sand covered the city’s skyline on Saturday with a heavy blanket of dust caused by strong winds hampering visibility and creating traffic snarls on busy roads.The traffic department advised motorists to drive slowly and exerc...
JEDDAH: More than 26 million Umrah pilgrims and worshippers visited the Grand Mosque during the month of Ramadan and in the first few days after Eid Al-Fitr, thanks to a smooth transport arrangement under the guidance of Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-...
AL-AHSA: An outbreak of lumpy skin disease (LSD) has been discovered in cattle in Al-Ahsa which is an area with many cows. All necessary measures have been taken to protect the livestock, said Mahmoud Al-Shuaibi of the Agriculture Department in Al-Ah...
RIYADH: An architectural masterpiece — the King Abdul Aziz Historical Center (KAHC) — in Riyadh is a huge complex dedicated solely to collecting, preserving, promoting and showcasing the history and heritage of Saudi Arabia. The KAHC is a three milli...
RIYADH: The Saudi Blind Society (Kafif) has made all preparations for the three-day workshop for the blind to be held here next week and attended by delegates from various Asian countries.Mohammed bin Suleiman Al-Shuwaiman, Kafif director general, th...
JEDDAH: The number of Saudis who took early retirement schemes last year stood at 38,647, the General Organization for Social Insurance (GOSI) has said. The Eastern Provinces got the lion's share of disbursements for retirees, amounting to SR3.8 bill...
JEDDAH: Meat and poultry topped the list of food items seized by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) at the border crossings for violating the health standards in the last two months.Approximately 267,137 kg of unfit meat and poultry were reject...
JEDDAH: Many sponsors and workers of small companies are struggling to get a comparatively cheaper health cover for renewal of iqama (residential permit) as the insurance companies have stopped issuing the same.The passport department has made it com...
RIYADH: Police have detained 11 Indonesian nationals, who arrived in the holy city of Makkah for Umrah a few days back.The Indonesian Religious Affairs Ministry is working closely with the Indonesian Consulate in Jeddah to assist the group of citizen...
JEDDAH: The National Committee for Bakeries at the Council of Saudi Chambers (CSC) said this Haj season would see no shortage in supplies of bakery items.The committee said there was need to increase operational labor by about 20 percent.It confirmed...
JEDDAH: Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Al Hamzi, director general of prisons, has sacked Brig. Ahmad Al Shahrani, director of Jeddah prisons, after the case of a video clip about prisoners taking heroin went viral, according to local media.Quoting informed source...
JEDDAH: Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal met with leaders of security forces in the region on Thursday to discuss future plans and mechanisms to limit infiltrators from entering the holy sites via land passageways during Haj.During the meeting, he...

Stay Connected

Facebook