ATR Golden 25 - ANOC President Sheikh Ahmad # 17

(ATR) The president of two powerful Olympic groups keeps a lower profile after controversy develops.

(ATR) Sheikh Ahmad Fahad Al Sabah commands the leadership and loyalty of two major Olympic associations.

IOC member in Kuwait, Ahmad presides over the Olympic Council of Asia, the 44-member NOC group about to stage the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia. And he is president of the Association of National Olympic Committees, the 206-nation assembly representing every NOC in the world.

He’s been at the vanguard of pushing the OCA and ANOC into staging new events, such as Beach Games, Martial Arts Games and Mind Games.

The Sheikh is number 17 in the 2018 edition of the Around the Rings Golden 25. Published since 1997, the Golden 25 is an annual review of people, events and issues expected to influence the Olympic Movement in the year ahead.

But the prestige of his leadership in the Olympic world has been overshadowed by links to the FIFA corruption scandal uncovered by the U.S. Justice Department.

Ever since the revelations earlier this year, Ahmad has kept to a lower profile including missing two IOC Sessions, which is unprecedented for him. He’s been a session stalwart since becoming an IOC member in 1992 when he was 29. The Sheikh did chair the ANOC Assembly in Prague in November, but did not hold a press conference as is customary.

Ahmad has denied any wrongdoing. And months after he was identified obliquely by the U.S. prosecutors in connection with the guilty plea of one of the FIFA defendants, nothing further has developed.

He did withdraw from the FIFA elections earlier this year after the allegations surfaced. Ahmad said he wanted to avoid undue controversy for the football federation.

Sheikh Ahmad, always careful of his privacy and reputation, is probably eager for this matter to be cleared up. Next on his calendar is the IOC Session in PyeongChang in February followed by the very public Olympic Winter Games.

2017 ranking - #11

Reported by Ed Hula.