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Volume 24 No. 159


After IOC President Jacques Rogge last week said that his successors in the office "no longer should be volunteers but paid employees," all future IOC presidents "must be selected from a wide pool of candidates that cannot include any past or present IOC members," according to Philip Hersh of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. Rogge’s "valid reasons for wanting a paid president included having 'independent people.'" Hersh asks, "How independent could a person be after having been part of a self-selected IOC membership? Especially because the most likely candidates will come from an even smaller self-selected group, the IOC executive board, which the membership picks after campaigns rife with rumors about horse trading and other shenanigans." The "closed club nature of the IOC remains a big reason why the organization suffers from low esteem among those few in the USA who pay any attention to it at all." The IOC "never has understood the idea of conflict of interest, which resonates more" in the U.S. "than anywhere else in the world." The IOC presidency until now "has been a volunteer position, with reimbursement for living expenses in Lausanne and travel expenses." It "makes sense to pay the president at least" $1M in salary, and "more if living expenses no longer are part of the deal." Hersh: "Give credit to Rogge for proposing an utterly sensible idea. But it will be more IOC nonsense-as-usual if it just lines the pocket of a member of its private club" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 4/27).