IOC Will Have to Amend Olympic Charter, Says John Coates on Members Seeking 3rd Term for IOC President Thomas Bach – News18

Last Updated: October 15, 2023, 17:46 IST

IOC president Thomas Bach (Reuters)

Members of the International Olympic Committee had urged the incumbent president Thomas Bach to stay on in his role after he completes his term in 2025.

John Coates, the chairman of the Legal Commission, on Sunday, listed the hurdles the International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach will face in seeking a third term as urged by some members during the 141st IOC Session in Mumbai.

The IOC will have to amend its Olympic charter to remove the tenure cap for the President. Currently, the Olympic Charter limits the IOC President’s term to a maximum of 12 years — the first term of eight years which can be extended by four more years.

Bach was first elected as President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 2013 and is now in his second term which will end in 2025.

Though Bach did not make any firm commitment to this suggestion, it was clear that he was agreeable to the members’ sentiments and said it ‘went straight to his heart”.

Coates, a former vice-president of the IOC, said the IOC will have to pass the resolution with a two-thirds majority.

“First the proposal has to be presented to the Executive Board, which will have to discuss it and then recommend it to the IOC Session. The matter has to be included on the agenda of the IOC Session with 30 days to consider it.

Coates, as the chair of the IOC Legal Commission, informed the IOC Session of the legal position, making it clear that the members proposing the third term for the President need to specify the extra term.

On Sunday on the opening day of the 141st IOC Session in Mumbai, many of the 99 members urged Bach to continue for four more years after his second term comes to an end in 2025.

The reason these members want Bach to continue his leadership is because of the recent COVID-19 crisis since 2020 so that the programmes that he had started could be fully implemented.

“We need to be able to rely on the leadership you have shown,” said IOC member Luis Mejia Oviedo of the Dominican Republic.

African sports leader Mustapha Berraf was another member who urged Bach to continue, saying the IOC needs “to go through this period of torment with a president who has proved his mettle.”

In the morning session, the IOC heard reports from his various commissions on their activities since the last IOC session.

Bach, who is 69 years old, will be 75 in the case that he gets an extra term of four years. It will also end the hopes of many members who are harbouring hopes of contesting the elections for the next IOC President as they are likely to fall foul of the age limit for the members, which is 70 years currently.

(With inputs from Agencies)