Many want Thomas Bach to be IOC head beyond 2025

BERLIN, Oct  15: Several International Olympic Committee (IOC) members proposed on Sunday that Thomas Bach should remain IOC president beyond his mandate until 2025.

Such a move would require a change of the Olympic Charter and there was no outright dismissal from Bach of such an idea. 

The 69-year-old German has been in office since 2013 and under current rules the IOC president can only serve for a maximum of 12 years.

Speaking at the 141st IOC Session in Mumbai, IOC members Mustapha Berraf of Algeria, the president of African Olympic committees, Luis Mejía Oviedo of the Dominican Republic and Aicha Garad Ali of Djibouti proposed a reform of the charter to allow Bach to stay on.

Oviedo said the IOC has to “rely” on Bach’s leadership beyond 2025.

IOC vice-president John Coates of Australia said as chairman of the IOC legal commission that written proposals to change the charter must be submitted 30 days before a Session and would also have to be discussed by the IOC executive board.

The next IOC Session is officially scheduled for July 2024 in Paris ahead of the Games in the French capital.

The 1976 Olympic fencing champion Bach was elected in 2013 in succession of Belgian Jacques Rogge during whose term the 12-year rule was introduced. Bach served an initial eight-year term and was re-elected for another four years in 2021.

He said in response to the proposals that he was “very touched by your support and friendship” and stressed the IOC’s unity.

“I am very loyal to the Olympic Charter,” he added. “You have heard the explanation of the chair of our legal commission in this direction.”

Should Bach really stay on beyond 2025 on another term that could affect other candidates for the top job in world sport.

No one has officially declared interest but World Athletics president Sebastian Coe of Britain, a two-time 1,500m gold medeallist and chief organiser of the London 2012 Games, has been mentioned along with Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr, whose father led the IOC 1980-2001.