September 15 - Two new top officials for the 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck have been appointed after their predecessors were forced to leave over a financial scandal following last year's European football championship, it was announced today.

Peter Bayer has been named permanent chief executive and Richard Rubatscher will take over as chairman of the supervisory board, the Olympische Jugendspiele 2012 GmbH announced.

In July, chief executive Martin Schnitzer and chairman Christoph Platzgummer were forced to quit amid a financial row after Innsbruck's made a loss from Euro 2008.

Schnitzer and Platzgummer were involved in the host city's organising committee that set up several fan zones, which sustained an inexplicable deficit of 950,000 Euros (£845,000).

Bayer had taken over from Schnitzer as an interim chief executive in July and has now been picked from 43 candidates to lead the organisation.

Rubatscher said: "For the first time in the history of the Winter Olympic Games the best youth athletes between 14 and 18 from over 50 nations will compete against each other.

"Our goal must be to prepare and operate the Games in the best possible way while maintaining Innsbruck"s long Olympic Tradition.

"With 1,048 athletes we will welcome about the same amount of athletes as in 1976 in Innsbruck.

"The number of participating nations and events will be approximately double the amount.

"Top priority has been the creation of a well-grounded budget to ensure smooth operations without aftermaths."

Jacques Rogge, the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), said last month that the local committee's leadership issue would not disrupt preparations for the inaugural Winter Youth Olympics.

Related stories
December 2008: Innsbruck to host first Winter Youth Olympics in 2012