US and Russian Olympic heads nominated for IOC membership

Tuesday, 02 July 2013
By Duncan Mackay in Lausanne

Larry Probst profileJuly 2 - Larry Probst and Alexander Zhukov, Presidents of the United States and Russian Olympic Committees respectively, have both been nominated to become new members of the International Committee (IOC), it was announced here today.

Others nominated include Kenya's Paul Tergat, the former world record holder for the marathon, and Sweden's Stefan Holm, the Athens 2004 Olympic high jump champion.

They were all put forward by the IOC's ruling Executive Board, meeting here on the eve of the Extraordinary Session. 

They will be joined by Octavian Morariu, President of the Romanian Olympic Committee, and Bernard Rajzman, President of Brazil's National Commission of Athletes and a State Congressman, 

Others nominated include Philippines' 39-year-old Mikaela Maria Antonia Cojuangco-Jaworski, an equestrian rider who won a gold medal in show jumping at the 2002 Asian Games in Busan and who is now a television host and actress.

Alexander Zhukov ROCRussian Olympic Committee President Alexander Zhukov has been nominated to become a member of the IOC

Dagmawit Girmay Berhane, secretary general of the Ethiopian Olympic Committee and ,a member of the Badminton World Federation Executive Committee, and Camiel Eurlings, a former Dutch politician who has this month taken over as the new President and chief executive of airline KLM, complete those nominated.

All are expected to be officially endorsed during the IOC Session in Buenos Aires, which is due to be held between September 7 and 10. 

The nomination of Probst, the 61-year-old executive chairman of video games company Electronic Arts, to become the fourth American IOC member - joining Anita DeFrantz, James Easton and Angela Ruggiero - is particularly significant because it continues the strengthening of relations between the Olympic Movement and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). 

The decision to also put forward Zhukov, 57, the former Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, will ensure that they also have four IOC members, and he will join Vitaly Smirnov, Tarpischev and Alexander Popov.

Camiel Eurlings profileCamiel Eurlings has been chosen to replace Willem-Alexander as the Netherlands' IOC member after he resigned following his accesion to the Dutch throne

Eurlings, 39, was formerly the Minister of Transport, Public Works and Water Management, is a replacement for Willem-Alexander, who is stepping down from the IOC after becoming the Netherlands' first King for more than a century after his mother, Queen Beatrix, abdicated.

Eurlings officially took over at KLM, the oldest airline in the world, yesterday. 

Tergat will succeed Kip Keino as the IOC member for Kenya after he reached the age limit of 70 and was forced to step down.

The 44-year-old, who lives in Nairobi, enjoyed an intense rivalry with Ethiopia's Haile Gebrselassie during his career.

He won two Olympic silver medals in the 10,000 metres, at Atlanta in 1996 and Sydney 2000, and claimed five consecutive World Cross Country titles between 1995 and 1999.

Tergat switched successfully to the marathon and set a world record of 2 hour 4min 55sec when winning the Berlin Marathon in 2003. 

Paul Tergat v Haile Gebrselassie Sydney 2000The rivalry between Paul Tergat (right) and Haile Gebrselassie (left) was one of the most enduring in athletics history, culminating at the Sydney Olympics where the Ethiopian pipped his Kenyan rival on the line to win the gold medal in the 10,000 metres

The Executive Board also approved the four athletes elected by their peers to the IOC Athletes' Commission at the controversial election during London 2012 and swearing-in as members tomorrow.

The four are Slovakia's Danka Bartekova from shooting, Australia's James Tomkins from rowing, Zimbabwe's Kirsty Coventry from Zimbabwe from aquatics and France's Tony Estanguet from canoe-kayak.

The election had been marred after two of the orginal top four, Japanese hammer thrower Koji Murofushi and Taiwanese taekwondo player Mu-yen Chu, were disqualified after breaking the IOC's strict election rules.

Both appealed unsuccessfully to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Today's nominations will take the total IOC membership to 113.

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