Winter sports federations drop out of SportAccord

Wed May 27, 2015 8:30am EDT
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By Karolos Grohmann

BERLIN (Reuters) - Winter Olympics sports federations (AIOWF) on Wednesday left SportAccord, suspending any collaboration with the umbrella organization in the latest fallout following a row with the International Olympic Committee, AIOWF said.

In a letter to SportAccord President Marius Vizer, seen by Reuters, AIOWF President Gian Franco Kasper said the decision had been taken with a "great majority."

"We remain confident that in the near future a constructive dialogue between SportAccord and its stakeholders in the interests of the Olympic Movement can be achieved," Kasper, who also heads the international ski federation, said in a two-paragraph letter.

The association includes the international federations of bobsleigh, curling, skiing, skating, ice hockey, luge and biathlon.

Their withdrawal comes after Vizer's attack on the IOC last month, saying it was dated, lacking transparency and blocking new events.

Vizer, who also heads the judo federation, has asked to meet with the IOC to clear the air but no meeting has been arranged yet as IOC President Thomas Bach first wants to discuss the situation with his executive board in June.

Since Vizer's speech last month around 30 federations, Olympic as well as non-Olympic, have withdrawn their membership of the organization representing about 100 sports bodies.

The row has also prompted Peru's Olympic Committee to pull out of hosting the 2017 World Combat Games.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Pritha Sarkar)