Jacques Rogge plans to stand down as an active member of the International Olympic Committee when his 12-year tenure as president ends in 2013. Rogge, set to be re-elected unopposed for a final four-year term in October, told the American website AroundtheRings.com he was determined not to remain as a distracting presence.
Even with four years to go, the minds of IOC-watchers are turning to possible successors to the Belgian. The man long considered most likely is the German Thomas Bach, a member of the executive board since 1996 and vice‑president since 2000. Other high‑profile executive board members, such as the Puerto Rican Richard Carrión, could also mount a challenge.
An intriguing potential outside bet is Nawal El Moutawakel, the Moroccan sports minister who became the first Arab woman ever to win a gold medal in Los Angeles in 1984, has been an IOC member since 1998 and was president of the 2012 evaluation committee.
One final name to consider might be that of Sebastian Coe. The chairman of the London Organising Committee has repeatedly refused to speculate on his future plans, insisting he is firmly focused only on 2012. To even consider a run at the job he would first have to become an IOC member, either by succeeding Lamine Diack as president of athletics' governing body, the IAAF, in 2011 (and the incumbent has hinted he may stay on) or by appointment after 2012, if Great Britain were granted an additional seat at the IOC table.
Then he would have to cram years if not decades of network building and campaigning into a fraction of that time. To win would be considered an extraordinary achievement. On the other hand Coe, who recently published a book called The Winning Mind, is not known for shirking difficult challenges.
Sprinter's dash for cash
Usain Bolt's staggering 100m win at the World Athletics Championships has elevated his profile yet further and, if he can maintain his form until the London Olympics, will catapult him into the earning league of Tiger Woods and Roger Federer, according to experts. In the nearer term, his bank balance is likely to be massively boosted by two multimillion-pound global deals in the pipeline. It is understood that the sports marketing giant Octagon has been in talks with Bolt's advisers for more than two months about global sponsorship deals for two of its clients, one of them an existing Olympic sponsor. The world record holder's existing sponsors include Puma (responsible for the yellow foam "Bolt arms" dotted around the Berlin stadium), Gatorade and mobile phone group Digicel.