Ireland’s Patrick Hickey has been appointed as the I.O.C’s new autonomy tsar, handpicked by President Thomas Bach.
He was offered the role by Bach in the wake of the problems that affected the Indian Olympic Association’s participation at Sochi 2014.
“Thomas Bach believes a big a problem in the Olympic Movement as doping and illegal gambling is autonomy,” said Hickey, President of the Olympic Council of Ireland.
“There are crises breaking out in NOCs, international federations, national federations and it’s going to get worse. At the moment we are firefighting and the President believes that there is no-one senior enough in charge. He wants to get a firm grip on it because it is going to take a lot of work into the future. I will be acting directly for the President. My role will be going and sorting out these problems.”
The IOA was suspended for 14 months by the IOC after they refused to recognise elections which saw officials linked with corruption elected. The ban was only lifted after Sochi 2014 had started following the election of Narayna Ramachandran as its new President.
Other countries to have been suspended recently include Kuwait and Ghana, while Pakistan and Sri Lanka have been threatened with sanctions.
Hickey, who is also President of the European Olympic Committees and senior vice-president of the Association of National Olympic Committees, as well as a member of the IOC’s ruling Executive Board, admitted he was proud to have been handpicked for the role by Bach.
“As the months go on everyone will see what the role means, I see it is a great challenge. It’s work I’ve been doing anyway in my roles in Europe and ANOC.”