Thomas Bach elected new IOC president - succeeding Jacques Rogge
The German had been expected to win today's election
Tuesday 10 September 2013
Thomas Bach has been elected as the new president of the International Olympic Committee.
The 59-year-old from Germany, a former Olympic fencing champion, won a comprehensive victory over five rivals in the vote in Buenos Aires.
Bach will succeed Jacques Rogge, who steps down after serving the maximum 12 years in the position.
In his victory address, Bach issued a call for harmony following an acrimonious election campaign which saw one of his rivals, Denis Oswald from Switzerland, reprimanded for his comments.
Bach told the IOC session: "Let us play together in harmony for a bright future under the leadership of the IOC.
"I would like to thank from the bottom of my heart all my friends and colleagues who voted for me - this is really an overwhelming sign of trust. I also thank my fellow candidates who I greatly respect.
"I will work with you in the coming years and repay your confidence. I know about the great responsibility of an IOC president."
Bach won in the second round of voting - the sign of an overwhelming victory - beating closest rival Richard Carrion, the Puerto Rican who is in charge of the IOC's finances, Ser Miang Ng from Singapore, Ukraine's Sergei Bubka, Oswald - the Swiss official who oversaw London's preparations for the 2012 Games - and C-K Wu, the Taiwanese head of the international boxing federation AIBA.
During the last few days Bach was forced to deny allegations in a German TV documentary about his conduct during his days as a fencer in the 1970s - it accused Bach of wearing a wet glove to fool the electronic scoring system - plus other claims about his business activities. A spokesman for Bach said the claims were "nonsense".
The figure in the background of this election is the man regarded as the IOC's 'fixer', Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahad al-Sabah, a member of the Kuwaiti royal family.
Al-Sabah is head of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC), the umbrella group of 205 national Olympic committees which enjoys huge influence, not least through administering the Olympic Solidarity fund which has 438million dollars (£300million) to distribute between now and 2016 to needy projects.
Al-Sabah publicly committed himself to supporting Bach, and also helped Tokyo w/in the vote for the 2020 Olympics and for wrestling to be reinstated as an Olympic sport.
That led to a backlash by Oswald who is concerned he is wielding too much power. Oswald told Swiss broadcaster RTF: "The members must make their decision but some don't like the link between Bach and Kuwait.
"I want an independent candidate who is not dependent on certain alliances."
Bach won by a landslide in the second round of voting, with 49 votes compared to 29 for nearest rival Carrion.
Ng attracted six votes, Oswald five and Bubka four after Wu had been eliminated in the first round.
Actress isn't a fan of Ed Miliband
Do you qualify – and how do you get it?
The Mayor of London's sister, Rachel Johnson, apologises for shocking tweet about the PM
Phil Hughes head injury: Cricket world reels as Australian opener fights for his life
Sam Wallace: Players of Suarez’s standing just don’t sign for clubs like Liverpool
Phil Hughes injury: Batsman had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him
Manchester City vs Bayern Munich comment: Frank Lampard's part in City win shows folly of letting him leave
Manchester City vs Bayern Munich: Nasri admits City stars will be sold if they fail in Europe
- 2 Black Friday 2014: Opening times for Asda, John Lewis, PC World, GAME and Argos
- 4 Jeremy Hunt: 'I took my children to A&E because I didn't want to wait for GP appointment'
- 5 Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services