Habu Gumel is a front-runner to be elected to the IOC Executive Board ©Getty Images

Nigeria's Habu Gumel and Aruba's Nicole Hoevertsz are favourites for two vacant positions on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board, insidethegames understands.

Both have written to IOC colleagues requesting their support and both are thought to have the backing of senior figures within the organisation.

A vote will take place during the IOC Session in Lima between September 13 and 16.

Other individuals, including Switzerland's Denis Oswald and Hungary's Pal Schmitt, are also considered to be potential candidates.

The addition of Gumel would end the current situation of there being no African representatives on the Board.

Hoevertsz being appointed, meanwhile, would bring the total number of female members to four out of 15.

Gumel, 68, is President of the Nigerian Olympic Committee and also serves as executive vice-president of the International Volleyball Federation and treasurer general of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa.

He is considered a loyal supporter of both the IOC leadership and Association of National Olympic Committees President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah.

One of his recent interjections at an IOC Session came last year in Rio de Janeiro, when he described the Executive Board's stance on Russian doping as "beautiful and concrete" in the context of criticising the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) for recommending a Russian suspension.

Gumel became an IOC member in 2009 so would have to stand down when reaching the age limit of 70 in two years time unless he is awarded one of five special extensions by IOC President Thomas Bach.

It is possible that his candidature could provoke opposition from some members due to his age.

Hoevertsz, 53, represented Netherlands Antilles in synchronised swimming at Los Angeles 1984 before joining the IOC in 2006.

Nicole Hoevertsz is a potential candidate for the IOC Executive Board ©Facebook
Nicole Hoevertsz is a potential candidate for the IOC Executive Board ©Facebook

She was a member of the Coordination Commission for Rio 2016 and, like Gumel, is currently serving in a similar position for Tokyo 2020.

Hoevertsz is also a member of the Pan American Sports Organization Executive Committee, and was the first-ever female on the panel when elected in 1998.

She has acted as an IOC scrutineer at ballots including the process to choose the host city of the 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2015, when the vote had to be re-staged due to problems with the electronic system.

She is also permanent secretary to the Council of Ministers of Aruba.

Australia's IOC vice-president John Coates is the only current member of the ruling Executive Board due to leave his position in Lima after reaching the end of his two four-year terms.

An IOC spokesperson has confirmed to insidethegames that two new members will be added, however, due to there only currently being 14 members instead of the maximum of 15.

One of the four IOC vice-presidential positions will also therefore be up for grabs in the Peruvian capital, the spokesperson added.

United States' Anita DeFrantz is considered the favourite at this stage.

The 64-year-old has previously served as IOC vice-president between 1997 and 2001 and began her latest term on the Executive Board in 2013.

DeFrantz does need to be re-elected for a second four-year term on the Board, but this is expected to be a formality.

Members, except for the President, are only eligible to serve a maximum of eight consecutive years on the Executive Board but can then reapply after a two-year break.

Anita DeFrantz is considered a contender to return to the IOC vice-presidency after a 16-year gap ©Getty Images
Anita DeFrantz is considered a contender to return to the IOC vice-presidency after a 16-year gap ©Getty Images

Both Gumel and Oswald stood unsuccessfully for the IOC Executive Board last year in Rio.

Oswald, a former President of the International Rowing Federation, celebrated his 70th birthday in May but is still an IOC member as he joined in 1991, before the age limit was reduced from 80.

A member of the Executive Board between 2000 and 2012, he also stood unsuccessfully against Thomas Bach for President in 2013.

He is currently chairing one of two IOC investigations into Russian doping at the Sochi 2014 Olympics.

Unlike Gumel and Hoevertsz, he has criticised IOC policy in recent Sessions and interjected to call unsuccessfully for a change to the Olympic Charter this month in Lausanne to justify the double awarding of the 2024 and 2028 Olympics in Lima.

He did, however, subsequently vote in support of the plan.

Two-time Olympic fencing champion Schmitt, 75, has been an IOC member since 1983 and has already served a term as vice-president between 1995 and 1999.

He was reprimanded by the IOC Ethics Commission in 2012 after a panel at Semmelweis University found his thesis had been plagiarised and revoked his academic title.

This incident forced him to step down as President of Hungary.

The IOC will not reveal any details about who is standing for the vacant positions.

It is possible that other candidates may emerge.

Ireland's Patrick Hickey, who remains "temporarily self-suspended" as he strives to clear his name following his arrest as part of a Brazilian ticketing investigation during Rio 2016, is expected to remain as a non-active member of the Executive Board.

insidethegames has contacted Gumel, Hoevertsz, Oswald, Schmitt and DeFrantz for confirmation about their ambitions.