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IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch
"I proposed my son because I think he can be a good member of the IOC"
 real 14k

Friday, 18 May, 2001, 14:12 GMT 15:12 UK
Samaranch defends nepotism charge
Juan Antonio Samaranch is surprised by the controversy
Juan Antonio Samaranch is surprised by the controversy
IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch has defended his decision to nominate his son as a committee member.

He said he was surprised by the controversy over the move.

Juan Antonio Samaranch Jnr was one of seven candidates proposed for membership on Thursday by the IOC executive board in what critics cited as a case of blatant nepotism.

Samaranch, who steps down in July after 21 years as president, disputed suggestions the nomination undermined the IOC's claims that it has become more democratic and transparent in the wake of the Salt Lake City vote-buying scandal.


I am not proposing him as president. I am proposing him only as a member
  Juan Antonio Samaranch

"This is in line (with IOC changes). I proposed my son with the agreement of the executive board of the IOC because I think my son can be a good member of the IOC," he said.

"This is not so important," said Samaranch. "I am not proposing him as president. I am proposing him only as a member. He is not designated. He is only a candidate."

He said his son was qualified to serve on the IOC because he has been a member of the international modern pentathlon federation for 20 years and is now a first vice president of the body.

"It's nothing new in the history of the IOC," Samaranch said, listing nine other members who have followed their fathers as delegates.

The election of members will take place in Moscow on 16 July, the same day Samaranch's successor will be chosen.

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