François Carrard was director general of the IOC for 14 years ©Getty Images

François Carrard, the former director general of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and a trailblazer on issues of sports governance, has died aged 83.

The Swiss lawyer was director general of the IOC for 14 years until 2003, after which he continued to play a role in sports ethics and governance.

This included leading the taskforce which drew up FIFA reforms following the widespread corruption scandal which rocked football's global governing body in 2015.

Carrard was also an important figure in the formation of the World Anti-Doping Agency, dating back to his IOC days.

Carrard's death was announced by the International Sports Press Association (AIPS), of which Carrard was a member of the organisation's Ethics Commission.

"Words are not enough to remember him, we will have to do it with facts because he will continue to be one of us," AIPS President Gianni Merlo wrote.

François Carrard played a key role in reforming FIFA ©Getty Images
François Carrard played a key role in reforming FIFA ©Getty Images

Carrard's tenure at the IOC began in 1979 with his appointment as a legal advisor.

The Swiss became director general a decade later, presiding over both the bribery scandal concerning Salt Lake City being awarded the 2002 Winter Olympic Games and the clean-up of Olympic governance which followed.

Carrard has advised numerous International Federations since leaving the IOC, including the International Swimming Federation (FINA), FIFA and the embattled International Boxing Association.

Just last year, Carrard shared the FINA Reform Committee which recommended sweeping governance changes which were adopted at an Extraordinary General Congress in December.

Carrard was also a member of the Gymnastics Ethics Foundation - set up by the International Gymnastics Federation in 2019 in response to the Larry Nassar scandal and other safeguarding controversies within the sport - up until his death.

Following the corruption scandal which engulfed FIFA and brought down its President Sepp Blatter as well as several other leading officials, Carrard was appointed to chair the 2016 FIFA Reform Committee.

Its recommendations which went on to be adopted included limiting the head of FIFA to four three-year terms, establishing a 36-strong FIFA Council to replace the ruling Executive Committee, setting minimum levels for the representation of women on the Council, cutting the number of Standing Committees, ensuring their members undergo integrity checks and boosting transparency at large.