By Tom Degun

Rene Fasel 2January 21 - International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) chief René Fasel claims he is still considering whether to run for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Presidency later this year after emerging as one of the leading candidates to replace Jacques Rogge.

The 62-year-old dentist from Switzerland has been an IOC member since 1995 while he has been a member of the Executive Board since 2008.

Fasel is considered one of the key contenders to take over from Rogge when his 12-year reign ends at the 125th Session in Buenos Aires in September this year with Germany's Thomas Bach, Singapore's Ng Ser Miang, Puerto Rico's Richard Carrion, Morocco's Nawal El Moutawakel and Taiwan's C K Wu among the other names likely to put forward themselves to succeed the Belgian. 

But Fasel admits that he will take his time over making a final decision given that IOC members will not have to officially declare their candidacy until June 10, when they will then become bound by the stringent ethical codes governing IOC election campaigning.

"It honours me that people are thinking about me as a candidate for the IOC Presidency," Fasal told insidethegames.

"But I will make my decision when the time comes.

"I don't really know yet so we will just see what happens.

"Candidates will not have to come forward until June so that would be the time to decide.

"But as I say, I feel honoured that people talk of me like this.

"My life is sport so if I can bring something to sport and the Olympic Movement like this then why not?

"But we will see.

"There are still many challenges for the future and Jacques speaks about that often when he talks about the size of the Games, the cost of the Games, the political impact of the Games and the legacy of the Games.

"So the future President will have a lot of challenges to deal with all of these issues.

"I have always maintained that it would be wrong going forwards if we can only take the Olympic Games to countries that have the money to stage them because then we restrict the Games to only a few small areas.

"That should not be the case and that is perhaps one of the biggest challenges for the next President and indeed the Olympic Movement over the next 20 to 30 years."

Jacques Rogge 2Current IOC Present Jacques Rogge will step down in September this year after taking up the role in 2001

Fasel, who is also the President of the Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations (AIOWF), praised Rogge, who is a surgeon by profession, for the work he has done since taking over as IOC President in 2001, saying that he has a difficult task in taking over from the charismatic Juan Antonio Samaranch.

Samaranch served as IOC President from 1980 to 2001, the second longest term in the role behind founder of the Modern Olympic Games Baron Pierre de Coubertin, and is widely credited with making the Olympics the biggest sporting competition on the planet.

"For me, Juan Antonio Samaranch was my mentor and my hero," Fasel explained.

"What he did for the Olympic Movement as IOC President is just unbelievable for one man.

"It really was not easy for Jacques to follow as person like Juan Antonio after all he had done as President.

"But Jacques has done it in a very smart way and he has been his own man.

"He has taken to the role like a surgeon.

"He has been very precise, very thoughtful and very methodical.

"So we are all very thankful to Jacques that he has been able to take the Olympic Movement to the strong position it is in today."

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