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Kuwait’s Sheikh Ahmad assumes ANOC Presidency

Kuwait’s Sheikh Ahmad assumes ANOC Presidency
April 16, 2012

Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahad al-Sabah has been elected as the new President of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC).

Following Friday's election Sheikh Ahmad repeated his call for unity following a turbulent period for the organisation.

The Kuwaiti, Head of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), was widely expected to assume the position after he was last month appointed in an interim capacity.

Sheikh Ahmad (pictured) came to power after influential Olympic official Mario Vazquez Rana resigned from all of his sports governance positions, which included a seat on the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Executive Board, lashing out at an "outrageous and aggressive race" for his succession as head of the ANOC.

The presidential election, held at the beginning of ANOC's general assembly in Moscow, saw Sheikh Ahmad, the only candidate for the position, gather 174 votes in favour, one against and two abstentions.

Veteran Mexican official Vazquez Rana, 79, had led the ANOC since founding it in 1979, but faced a possible revolt at the general assembly, when some delegates were expected to seek his dismissal in a bid to secure younger leadership for the organisation.

In his resignation statement, Vazquez Rana criticised the methods employed to succeed him by ANOC Vice-Presidents Sheikh Ahmad and Patrick Hickey, president of the European Olympic Committees.

Following his election on Friday, the Associated Press reported that Sheikh Ahmad called for unity, adding of Vazquez Rana that "our relationship is more than what you are hearing." The new President said ANOC's priorities under his leadership will include "a vision to help the underdeveloped countries' national Olympic committees."

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