International Olympic Committee (IOC) Member Patrick Baumann has been appointed head of the 2024 Olympic bid Evaluation Commission Tuesday after former Namibian sprinter Frank Fredericks stepped down from the role amid corruption charges.
Baumann, the Secretary General of International Basketball Federation FIBA, and the recently elected President of SportAccord will take over as Chair of the Evaluation Commission just six months before IOC members vote for a winner in Lima, Peru.
Baumann also led Lausanne’s successful bid to host the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games.
Fredericks is accused of accepting a payment of almost $300,000 to his Seychelles bank account on the same day Rio was elected host city of the 2016 Olympic Games in a vote where the sprinter was scrutineer. The source of the funds were traced to a wealthy Brazilian business man who owns construction projects in Rio.
He has denied any wrongdoing, claiming the transaction was to settle a legitimate marketing business invoice.
The IOC said in a statement “As far as the allegations against the IOC Member in Namibia, Mr Frank Fredericks, are concerned, the IOC EB emphasises the presumption of innocence and takes note of his decision to step down as Chair of the Evaluation Commission for the Olympic Games 2024.”
The IOC Ethics Commission said in a statement “one of its missions is to analyse the allegations made against IOC members.”
“However, it is noted that it also fulfils this mission with the aim to protect the reputation of the Olympic Movement. In such circumstances, not only the facts but also the perception of the possible lack of impartiality by an IOC member in the performance of their various functions need to be taken into consideration.”
The IOC Ethics Commission made the following recommendations:
- Remove the participation and the chairmanship of the Evaluation Commission for the Olympic Games 2024 from Mr Frank Fredericks;
- Suspend him provisionally from participating and chairing the Coordination Commission for the 2018 YOG in Buenos Aires; and
- Suspend him provisionally from all his rights to vote on the Olympic Games 2024 during the IOC Session 2017.
The IOC also announced that Lingwei Li, an IOC Member in China, will be appointed as the Interim Chair of the Coordination Commission for the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 – replacing Fredericks.
The Evaluation Commission is scheduled to visit Los Angeles on April 23 and Paris on May 14, both for three-day visits to conduct site evaluations and review submitted bid books.
The final election will be held September 13.