Tributes have been paid to former International Cycling Union (UCI) President Hein Verbruggen, who has died at the age of 75.
It was confirmed by the UCI, the organisation led by Verbruggen between 1991 and 2005, today that he had lost his battle with leukaemia.
The Dutchman was made a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1996.
He served as the chair of the IOC Coordination Commission for the 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Beijing.
"The UCI is sad to hear about the passing of former President and IOC Member Hein Verbruggen," the UCI said.
"Our thoughts are with his family and friends."
A statement was also issued by the IOC which praised the work he did for the organisation and his sport.
"Hein Verbruggen was a fearless fighter for his sport," IOC President Thomas Bach said.
"Thanks to his great engagement and his management skills, he greatly contributed to the success of the Olympic Games Beijing 2008 as Chair of the Coordination Commission.
"For this he will be always remembered."
It was also confirmed by the IOC that the Olympic Flag would be flown at half-mast at their headquarters in Lausanne as a mark of respect.
Verbruggen also led SportAccord, the umbrella organisation for Olympic and non-Olympic Federations, from 2004 to 2013.
The organisation has now moved back to its previous name of Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF), having previously been changed by Verbruggen in 2009.
GAISF President Patrick Baumann paid tribute to Verbruggen’s work at the organisation, claiming the Dutchman was a "visionary".
"Our thoughts at this time are with his family and close friends and we share their sense of loss," he said.
"Hein was, in many ways a visionary.
"He lived for sport and, through his work with SportAccord, the UCI and international Olympic Committee understood as well as anybody the complexities of sports governance in a fast changing world.
"Above all he understood that International Federations and other bodies must work together to learn, grow and evolve if they are to be effective.
"Through SportAccord he fashioned an organisation and framework to make that possible.
"Under his Presidency SportAccord developed as an organisation capable of serving its members and equipping them for their changing roles.
"He created the SportAccord Convention which grew to become a landmark event on the international sports calendar while the organisation began to provide a range of essential services to its growing membership.
“"ignificantly these included creating the Doping Free Sports Unit which continues to assist the biggest and smallest Federations and member organisations in anti-doping compliance and promoting clean sport.
"Of course, SportAccord continues to evolve but one thing is for sure.
"We are still following a course initially plotted by Hein Verbruggen and members of GAISF/Sportaccord and the entire international sports family owe him a debt of gratitude."
During his time as President of the UCI, Verbruggen successfully ensured professional riders would be able to compete at the Olympic Games.
He also oversaw the establishment of the UCI ProTour, a professional road race series for teams which ran until 2010, before it merged with the WorldTour.
Verbruggen’s tenure also came at the height of the period in which the use of erythropoietin and blood transfusions were used in the professional peloton.
The Dutchman and his successor as UCI President Pat McQuaid were accused of colluding with disgraced American cyclist Lance Armstrong in the 2015 Cycling Independent Reform Commission (CIRC) report - commissioned as part of efforts to address cycling's crippling doping problem.
The pair were alleged to have helped Armstrong avoid being caught for doping through his seven Tour de France victories in successive years from 1999 to 2005, among other serious allegations.
Verbruggen was highly critical of what he described as a "biased, anti-Verbruggen report".
Verbruggen had threatened to sue the UCI over the CIRC report, which the World Anti-Doping Agency were heavily involved with, but an agreement was signed with current President Brian Cookson to end legal proceedings.
The deal also saw him retain his role as Honorary President of the governing body.