Death of Jacques Rogge, former president of the International Olympic Committee

Belgian Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) from 2001 to 2013, is dead. “It is with great sadness that the IOC announces the death of its former President Jacques Rogge. He was 79 years old ”, the committee said in a press release on Sunday, August 29.

Elected in 2001, after twenty-one years of reign of the Spaniard Juan Antonio Samaranch in Lausanne, Jacques Rogge – who was the eighth president of the body – had inherited an institution undermined by suspicions of nepotism and corruption .

Salt Lake City, bribes and doping

The first Olympic Games (Olympics) of his mandate are sulphurous: Salt Lake City is accused of having paid bribes to the IOC to obtain the organization of the 2002 Winter Olympics, after several unsuccessful candidacies.

Worse, on the doping front, seven cases (including three gold medalists) are recorded during these Olympics, while there were only five between 1924 and 1998. Immersed immediately in the storm, he chooses a clear course: “The fight against doping can be summed up in two words: zero tolerance”, he declared in 2009.

In addition to the fight against doping, Jacques Rogge sets out to attack the gigantism of the Games. To avoid reliving the Salt Lake City scandal, the Belgian is reforming the system for awarding the Olympic Games to candidate cities in order to move towards more transparency. The Olympic program is limited, at its initiative, to 28 disciplines and 10,500 athletes.

Former Belgian rugby international, Rogge took part in the Olympic Games three times: in 1968 in Mexico City, 1972 in Munich and 1976 in Montreal, taking part in sailing events in Finn, a category in which he was world champion. Before assuming the presidency of the IOC, he headed the Belgian Olympic Committee, as well as the European Olympic Committees, the body which brings together fifty Olympic committees from the continent.

Modernization and transformation of the CIO

The current president, the German Thomas Bach, who succeeded him in 2013, paid tribute to him: “Jacques was above all a sports enthusiast who loved being in contact with athletes, a passion that he passed on to all those who knew him. His joy in sport was infectious ”, recalls Thomas Bach, quoted in the press release.

To read : “Olympic mission accomplished for Jacques Rogge the conciliator”

“He was an accomplished president who helped modernize and transform the IOC. He will be particularly remembered for having encouraged the practice of sport among young people and for having created the Youth Olympic Games. He was also a fervent defender of clean sport and he tirelessly fought against the scourge of doping ”, recalls the current IOC President. “The entire Olympic movement mourns the loss of a great friend and a sports enthusiast”, he concludes.

The World with AFP

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.