Denis Oswald becomes 5th candidate in race for IOC presidency
Denis Oswald chairman of the International Olympic Committee Coordination Committee for London 2012 Games speaking during a press conference following the 10 and last inspection for the upcoming summer Olympic Games in London, Friday, March, 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant )
Stephen Wilson, The Associated Press
Published Friday, May 24, 2013 10:11AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, May 24, 2013 11:02AM EDT
LONDON -- Denis Oswald declared his candidacy for IOC president Friday, becoming the fifth member and second European to enter the race to succeed Jacques Rogge.
The 66-year-old Swiss lawyer and head of the international rowing federation sent a letter to IOC members announcing his decision to stand for election as head of the International Olympic Committee.
"My 40 years of service to the Olympic movement have provided me with a comprehensive understanding of our organization as well as its role and significance in the wider world," Oswald said.
"This knowledge and experience ... will enable me to advance the Olympic cause and enhance the IOC's authority as the leader of world sport."
Oswald joins a field that already includes IOC vice-presidents Thomas Bach of Germany and Ng Ser Miang of Singapore, Richard Carrion of Puerto Rico and C.K. Wu of Taiwan. Former pole vaulter Sergei Bubka of Ukraine is expected to announce his bid next week.
Rogge is stepping down in September after 12 years as president. The election will be held on Sept. 10 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Oswald did not release his campaign platform Friday, telling member he will present his "vision and philosophy" in coming weeks. He scheduled a news conference for June 3 in Lausanne, Switzerland, to outline his manifesto.
Oswald's candidacy is seen as direct competition to Bach for European support. Bach, a lawyer and former Olympic fencer, has been considered a front-runner.
Bach was the first to declare his candidacy two weeks ago, followed a week later by Ng. Carrion, chairman of the IOC finance commission, and Wu, president of the international amateur boxing association, launched their bids earlier this week.
Oswald has been an IOC member since 1991. He competed in rowing at the 1968, 1972 and 1976 Olympics, winning a bronze medal in the fours event in Mexico City in '68.
Oswald has been president of rowing federation FISA since 1989, with his term ending later this year. He served as head of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations from 2000-2012, which gave him a place on the policy-making IOC executive board for that period.
Oswald gained standing in the IOC as chairman of the co-ordination commission for the 2004 Athens Olympics and 2012 London Games, a position that required oversight of all preparations.
Oswald is also a lawyer based in Neuchatel, Switzerland, and has served as an arbitrator for the Court of Arbitration for Sport.