Uruguay’s Julio Maglione and Mexico’s Olegario Vázquez Raña are among six people removed from the official list of International Olympic Committee (IOC) members after passing age limits in 2015.
Russia’s senior member Vitaly Smirnov, Greece’s Lambis V. Nikolaou, Lebanon’s Tony Khoury and Zambia’s Patrick Chamunda have also stepped down.
It leaves the 73-year-old Richard Pound as the senior member, with the Canadian first elected in 1978 and now the only survivor from the 1970s.
Although the IOC’s Agenda 2020 reform process raises the possibility for serving International Federation heads to be granted an extension to their membership while they remain in their role, neither Maglione nor Vázquez Raña – respective heads of the International Swimming Federation and the International Shooting Sport Federation – were eligible for this as they had passed the maximum age limit of 80.
Both become honorary members, along with Smirnov, who first joined the IOC in 1971, Nikolaou and Chamunda, the only one of the six to have exceeded the lower age limit of 70 introduced for members added after 1999.
Khoury is not listed as an IOC honorary member.
The changes mean there are currently only 92 serving members, well below the upper limit of 115, with no member for influential Olympic host nations, including Greece and Mexico.
An unspecified number of new recruits will be added at this summer’s IOC Session in Rio de Janeiro, in what is expected to be the first large batch of new members introduced since Thomas Bach assumed the Presidency in September 2013.
Two others – Hong Kong’s Timothy Fok and Cameroon’s interim FIFA President Issa Hayatou – will exceed age limits in 2016, while five others will end their terms on the IOC Athletes’ Commission.
These include Germany’s chair and IOC Executive Board member Claudia Bokel, as well as South Korea’s Dae Sung Moon, Cuba’s Yumilka Luaces, Russia’s Alexander Popov and New Zealand’s Barbara Kendall.
Four new candidates will be elected during Rio 2016.
The changes mean Pound, who still has seven years until he reaches the age limit, will now be expected to make closing remarks at IOC Sessions.
This is an honour traditionally bestowed upon the most senior member.
A two-time former IOC vice-president, Pound has twice failed to be elected to the ruling Executive Board in recent years.
He has instead played an influential role from the backbenches, chairing the World Anti-Doping Agency Independent Commission which sent shock-waves around the Olympic Movement after confirming reports of systemic and state-sponsored doping in Russian athletics in November.
- By Nick Butler
- this article was republished with permission from the original publisher Inside the Games www.insidethegames.biz