LONDON (AP) — IOC President Thomas Bach filled several key positions Tuesday – including in finance, marketing and anti-doping – as he put his own stamp on the Olympic body that continues to take shape since his election six months ago.
Bach announced the composition of his IOC commissions, with Ng Ser Miang of Singapore and Tsunekazu Takeda of Japan assigned high-profile financial roles and Turkey’s Ugur Urdener handed the top medical and anti-doping post.
The heads of the U.S. and Russian Olympic committees and two royals – Britain’s Princess Anne and Monaco’s Prince Albert – will also chair commissions.
The appointments reflect further change under Bach, who was elected in September as head of the International Olympic Committee, succeeding Jacques Rogge after 12 years in office.
In addition to changes within the IOC, Bach has initiated a wide-ranging debate over the future of the Olympic movement, including possible changes to the sports program and the host city bidding process.
Ng, who ran unsuccessfully against Bach for president, takes over the powerful IOC finance commission from Richard Carrion. The Puerto Rican banking executive resigned from the post after also losing to Bach in the Sept. 10 presidential vote in Buenos Aires.
Ng, a businessman and diplomat, organized the inaugural Youth Olympics in Singapore in 2010. He stepped in as finance commission chair on an interim basis after Carrion’s resignation late last year.
Carrion oversaw the growth of the IOC’s financial reserves from $100 million to $900 million over the past decade. He also served as the lead negotiator on television rights deals outside of Europe, securing the record $4.38 billion deal with NBC for the U.S. rights through the 2020 Olympics.
It’s not clear who will lead the TV negotiations now. Like Rogge, Bach will chair the TV rights and new media commission.
Takeda, president of the Japanese Olympic Committee and a key figure in the 2020 Tokyo Games, will chair the marketing commission. He replaces Gerhard Heiberg of Norway, who stepped down after 12 years in the role. Heiberg negotiated the multi-billion-dollar global sponsorship deals that raised about $1 billion in revenues for the IOC over the latest four-year period.
Erdener, meanwhile, was named chair of the medical commission, which oversees the IOC’s anti-doping programs. He succeeds long-time chair Arne Ljungqvist of Sweden, who has stepped down because of age reasons.
Erdener, elected to the IOC executive board in September, is a senior official of the World Anti-Doping Agency, as well as head of Turkey’s national Olympic committee and the international archery federation.
U.S. Olympic Committee head Larry Probst – who has worked hard to improve U.S. relations with the IOC after years of strained relations – will chair the press commission. He replaces Kevan Gosper of Australia, who has reached retirement age.
Russian Olympic Committee chief Alexander Zhukov, a central player in the Sochi Olympics, will head the evaluation commission for the 2022 Winter Games. Five cities are in the running – Almaty, Kazakhstan; Beijing; Krakow, Poland; Lviv, Ukraine; and Oslo, Norway. The IOC executive board will decide in July which cities make the list of finalists.
Among the royals, Princess Anne will chair the nominations commission (which proposes new IOC members) and Albert will head the sports and environment panel.
In one significant change, Lydia Nsekera of Burundi, a FIFA executive committee member, takes over the women and sport commission. She replaces Anita DeFrantz, who led the panel since 1995 and is now on the finance commission as well as the rule-making executive board.
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