By Duncan Mackay in Durban

Joao_Havelange_at_book_launchJune 30 - Former FIFA President Joao Havelange, the longest serving member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), is set to miss the vote for the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics here next week, it has been revealed.

His decision to miss the IOC Session coincides with the organisation's Ethics Commission launching an investigation into Havelange over allegations made in a BBC Panorama programme last November that he received a $1 million bribe (£618,000).

But that has had nothing to do with his decision to miss the Session, the 95-year-old Brazilian claimed. 

His spokesman Sergio Martins told the Associated Press that it's "almost certain" that Havelange will not travel to South Africa because a close family member is due to have medical treatment in the next few days and he wants to remain in Brazil to be close to them. 

"It's a long trip," Martins told Associated Press.

"It wouldn't be worth to go all the way there and then come back."

Martins claimed that Havelange has not done anything wrong and said the allegations against him that he received a bribe from FIFA's collapsed marketing partner, ISL, were false.

"Havelange has not been notified of any investigation [by the IOC]," Martins said.

Havelange, who represented Brazil in swimming at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin and water polo at the 1952 Games in Helsinki, has been a member of the IOC since 1963.

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