Infantino among proposed IOC members but no Coe given CSM conflict

IAAF President Lord Sebastian Coe and President of the IOC, Thomas Bach at IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images for IAAF)

The executive board of the International Olympic Committee has put forward three new names for election as IOC members, although Lord Sebastian Coe, the president of World Athletics, has not been proposed given a perceived conflict of interests.

Fifa president Gianni Infantino, International Tennis Federation president David Haggerty and Yasuhiro Yamashita, president of the Japanese Olympic Committee, are the three figures who are set to be elected as members at the 135th IOC Session on January 10 in the body’s home city of Lausanne, Switzerland. 

Coe was not among those proposed, despite IOC president Thomas Bach professing a desire to promote Coe as a member “as president of one of our most important Olympic sports”.

Coe’s ties to marketing consultancy CSM – where he serves as group chairman – caused a risk of conflict of interest, as the IOC is currently among CSM’s clients.

Speaking at an IOC press conference today, Bach stated: “We wanted him [Coe] to become an IOC member as president of one of our most important Olympic sports. Since then we are in close consultation with him and since then we have addressed the risk of a potential of conflict of interest he may have.”

Bach added that Coe is looking to address the situation “in a couple of months,” expressing hope that Coe could yet be elected as an IOC member before the start of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

In 2015, Coe ended a long-running ambassadorial role with sportswear giant Nike amid conflict of interest claims over the 2021 World Championships being awarded to Eugene, Oregon, where Nike is based. After becoming IAAF president in 2015, he also said that CSM
would not tender for any IAAF work during his reign.

Fifa and World Athletics have both been without IOC membership since 2015, when corruption scandals engulfed both organisations and saw previous presidents Sepp Blatter and Lamine Diack, respectively, removed from their roles. 

The three proposed candidates were selected by the IOC Members Election Commission, chaired by HRH the Princess Royal, and all have passed the integrity checks carried out by the IOC’s Ethics Commission. 

Bach said: “These three personalities would bring a wide and varied set of skills and expertise that will be extremely beneficial for the IOC.”

Meanwhile, the British Olympic Association has appointed three new members to its own board. Vicky Gosling, the chief executive of GB Snowsport, has joined the board as winter sports representative, replacing the outgoing Hew Chalmers of the World Curling Federation.

Andrew Scoular, Gosling’s counterpart at British Judo, is the board’s new summer sports representative, coming in for the International Triathlon Union’s Ian Howard. 

Finally, Juliet Slot, the chief commercial officer of Ascot Racecourse who previously worked on the London 2012 bid, has joined the board as an independent non-executive director, filling the vacancy left by Andy Anson, who become the BOA’s chief executive on November 1.