Exclusive: Talk of next IOC President is still premature, says Bach
Sunday, 11 November 2012
November 11 - Germany's Thomas Bach has said talk of Jacques Rogge's successor as International Olympic Committee (IOC) President is still premature, despite being widely considered as favourite for the prestigious position when it becomes vacant next year.
Rogge succeeded Juan Antonio Samaranch as IOC President in 2001 and is currently serving his third and final term in the role.
He will officially step down in September 2013 at the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires, where a new IOC President will be elected.
Speculation is increasing as to who will replace the Belgian and Bach, a current IOC vice-president, is said to be leading the pack.
But the 68-year-old President of the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB), who won gold in fencing at the Montreal 1976 Olympics, said the subject should not be discussed publically at this stage.
"It is an honour to think that you could be elected for this important and challenging position and that colleagues would talk about you in this way," Bach told insidethegames.
"But we must remember that our current President still has over 10 months to go in the role and that he still has lots of work to do.
"I have been elected as his vice-president so I will support him fully until the end of his mandate.
"It would not be loyal to start a full public discussion now about his successor.
"Everything in life has its time and we must wait and see but now is not the time for the discussion."
Bach, who has been an IOC member since 1991, added that whoever the next President is will be talking over an organisation in fantastic shape following the huge success of London 2012, which is widely viewed as one of the greatest Games in history.
"London 2012 was great not only for London and for Great Britain but for the Olympic Movement around the world," he said.
"The great success of the Games has put the Movement in a very strong position going forward.
"That will really help future host cities so I think that London has provided a good platform for a successful Sochi Winter Games in 2014 and a great Rio Summer Games in 2016.
"London must be congratulated for their great work."