Jacques Rogge, former president of the IOC, dies

Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee between 2001 and 2013, passed away today at the age of 79. Orthopedic surgeon, former international rugby player for Belgium and participant in three Games (1968, 1972 and 1976) in sailing, succeeded Juan Antonio Samaranch as the eighth boss of the institution, since he left after twelve years to make way for Thomas Bach.

Under his presidency, Madrid opted for the 2012, 2016 and 2020 Games that went to London, Rio and Tokyo, respectively. Precisely, as his greatest legacy left the first edition in South America, which resulted in an organizational and economic fiasco for the Brazilian city, with episodes of corruption included. After leaving the presidency, the IOC began a process to simplify the election of venues (Agenda 2020) to eliminate the painful and costly candidacy processes.

Rogge created the Youth Games to boost the movement and give space to new sports and especially fought against doping in collaboration with the World Anti-Doping Agency. Sample freezing and subsequent reanalysis of the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 editions unmasked many cheaters.

“He was a fierce defender of fair sport and fought tirelessly against the evils of doping,” Bach recalled in an IOC note.

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