SportAccord chief Vizer resigns after row with IOC

Sun May 31, 2015 10:53am EDT
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By Karolos Grohmann

BERLIN (Reuters) - SportAccord president Marius Vizer resigned on Sunday, conceding defeat in a row with the International Olympic Committee over control of international sports federations.

Vizer had challenged the IOC's grip on global sports, accusing it of being dated and blocking the creation of new events as well as lacking transparency.

His sharply-worded comments last month triggered a wave of departures from the umbrella organization, representing some 100 international sports federations.

Many of the departing federations accused Vizer of a unilateral move and not speaking on behalf of SportAccord's members.

A subsequent 20-point agenda from Vizer for a proposed meeting with the IOC to clear the air demanded even more concessions.

The IOC refused to meet Vizer until after an Executive Board meeting in June.

"When I emigrated from communism in 1988, I risked my life and my family’s life in order to live in a free and democratic world, where one of the supreme values is the freedom of speech and of opinion," Vizer, a former Romanian judoka, said in a statement.

"In this past month it was proven that in the free world there are, still, higher structures where the supreme value is silence!"   Continued...