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Factfile: Former IOC chief Samaranch

April 21, 2010 17:59 IST

Factfile on former International Olympic Committee president Juan Antonio Samaranch, who died on Wednesday at the age of 89.


-- Born in Barcelona on July 17, 1920, Samaranch pursued a career in sports politics in former dictator General Francisco Franco's fascist Spain.

-- He was Spanish chef de mission at three Olympic Games before winning a place on the IOC in 1966.

-- After Franco's death, Samaranch was appointed as ambassador to the Soviet Union where important contacts among third world sports officials helped him succeed Lord Killanin as IOC president in 1980.


-- At the start of his presidency, he steered the Olympic movement through two successive political boycotts; a U.S.-led western boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics followed by an eastern bloc retaliation in 1984 at Los Angeles.

-- The Los Angeles games were, however, a financial success and represented a clear break with the past with its focal sport of athletics now fully professional.

-- The 1992 Barcelona Games, held in Samaranch's birthplace, were a stunning success with burgeoning interest from corporate sponsors and a huge increase in the cost of television rights.


-- At the 1988 Seoul Olympics the Ben Johnson drugs scandal broke when the Canadian sprinter tested positive after winning the 100 metres final. A subsequent Canadian government inquiry found evidence that doping was widespread in athletics.

-- A series of high-profile drug busts prompted the IOC to call a special anti-doping conference in early 1999 and the establishment of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

-- In 1998 it was revealed that some IOC members had been bribed to award the 2002 Winter Games to Salt Lake City.

-- WADA's first president Dick Pound said that Samaranch was never an enthusiastic supporter of the fight against drugs.


-- In July 2001, after 21 years in the role, he was succeeded as IOC president by Jacques Rogge.

-- Samaranch was made the IOC's honorary life president in 2001.

-- His son Juan Antonio Jr. is a member of the IOC.