(ATR) Colleagues are applauding the decision of IOC President Jacques Rogge to seek a final term in office. He declared his intentions in a letter sent to IOC members today.
IOC vice president Thomas Bach said he congratulates Rogge's decision. "We all support him for the next four years," he said.
IOC member from Hungary Pál Schmitt first heard the news from ATR.
"I am very glad because his leadership is in conformity with the image we want to have at the IOC," said the chair of the Sport and Environment Commission, noting Rogge's achievements in the fight against doping and "careful financing and cutting expenditures" since becoming president.
Schmitt said Rogge had steered the IOC through successful Olympics in Salt Lake City, Athens, Turin and the "magnificent Games in Beijing" and grown the popularity of the Olympics.
He says Rogge enjoys good relations with the international federations and national Olympic committees. "There are many signs that he enjoys his work," Schmitt said, suggesting that the IOC chief's good health would allow him to pursue the often gruelling travel schedule that goes with the presidency and give him the strength to fight the challenges ahead, if he is re-elected next October.
Hein Verbruggen, former IOC member from the Netherlands, told ATR that Rogge's decision was not unexpected, describing it as an "extremely positive" move for the IOC.
"He is on the ball. He is totally in control as president and I think it would be a big loss if we would change our excellent president now," said Verbruggen, who served as chair of the IOC co-ordination commission for Beijing and is president of the General Association of International Sports Federations.
Rogge was elected in 2001 to an eight-year term. IOC rules allow for second term of four years, which will be subject to a vote at the IOC Session in Copenhagen next October. Rogge, 66, had said he would announce his intentions by the end of this month.
The IOC Communications office says the letter to members is a private communication and will not be released at this time.
Rogge will explain more next week when he holds a press conference in Brussels at the headquarters of the Belgian Olympic and Interfederal Committee, where he once served as president.
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