Juan Antonio Samaranch will return as an IOC vice-president in May ©Getty Images

Juan Antonio Samaranch has thanked International Olympic Committee (IOC) members for their trust after being elected as a vice-president for the second time.

The Spanish official was the sole candidate for the vice-president position, due to be vacated by China’s Yu Zaiqing.

A total of 72 votes were cast in favour of Samaranch becoming the organisation’s fourth vice-president during the IOC Session today.

Four votes were cast against the 62-year-old, with a further seven abstentions.

"I thank you from the bottom of my heart for this show of support, for this show of trust," said Samaranch.

"You can't imagine how happy I am.

"How happy I am to continue working with you all, now from the Executive Board."

Samaranch had previously been a member of the IOC Executive Board from 2012 to 2016, before serving one term as vice-president until 2020.

He left the Executive Board in 2020 after serving the maximum two consecutive four-year terms.

Samaranch’s return will officially come on May 22, when the truncated 139th IOC Session concludes after being split into three different parts.

Samaranch will succeed Yu, who has served as an IOC vice-president since 2014 but is required to step down after serving two successive terms.

The financial analyst, a founding partner and executive director of GBS Finanzas, joined the IOC in 2001.

He has served as the chair of the Beijing 2022 Coordination Commission, which has overseen preparations for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in the Chinese capital.

Samaranch is also chairman of the Board of Directors of Olympic Channel Services in Spain.

Juan Antonio Samaranch has been touted as a potential contender for the IOC Presidency in the future ©Getty Images
Juan Antonio Samaranch has been touted as a potential contender for the IOC Presidency in the future ©Getty Images

His return to the IOC Executive Board could leave Samaranch well-placed to launch a bid for the IOC Presidency, when incumbent Thomas Bach's term ends in 2025.

He last year suggested he could be tempted to stand in the election.

Samaranch's father, of the same name, served as IOC President between 1980 and 2001.

He will join Singapore’s Ng Ser Miang, Australia’s John Coates and Aruba’s Nicole Hoevertsz as IOC vice-presidents in March.

Hoevertsz, who saw her IOC membership extended today, has also been touted as a potential IOC Presidential candidate in the future.

Samaranch told the Spanish news agency EFE that the IOC needed to conclude the hosting of the Winter Olympics successfully, before tackling several issues.

He reportedly identified good organisation of the next Olympic Games, the role of athletes and "interference of politics in sport" among the key issues, as well as the income model and Olympic values within society.

Samaranch has been supportive of a potential Pyrenees-Barcelona bid for the 2030 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The process has been spearheaded by Spanish Olympic Committee (COE) President Alejandro Blanco.

Blanco last week met with the Olympic Committee of Bosnia and Herzegovina President Marijan Kvesić to seek further cooperation and potentially collaborating on the 2030 bid.

Blanco met with Javier Lambán, President of the Government of Aragon, to discuss the candidacy on Thursday (February 17).