(ATR) When trouble brews among the world’s 206 National Olympic Committees the IOC calls upon its member in Dublin for solutions.
Patrick Hickey is number 12 in the Around the Rings Golden 25 for 2016. Now in its 20th year, the survey ranks 25 individuals or events expected to have a major influence on the Olympics in the year ahead.
Hickey is the IOC emissary for the resolution of disputes over the autonomy of the NOCs from government interference, cases which seem to be growing more frequent.
Currently he has a very tough case to handle involving the suspension of the Kuwait NOC. Government officials seem intractable to changes in national law that the IOC considers a violation of the autonomy of the NOC. The battle has reached a personal level with misdemeanor charges levied against Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah, IOC member in Kuwait and the president of the Association of National Olympic Committees. Until there is a resolution, Kuwait athletes cannot compete at the Rio Olympics under their national flag.
Hickey, 70, also has an important role to play as president of the European Olympic Committees, representing the 50 NOCs of the continent. A key decision he and his colleagues face in early 2016 is a where to hold the 2019 edition of the European Games. The EOC was close to announcing Russia as the host in November until the doping crisis erupted involving the country’s track and field athletes. Hickey would like to do all he can to help Russia make reforms quickly.
Elected to the IOC in 1995, Hickey is the representative of ANOC on the IOC Executive Board. His four-year mandate ends in 2016 but he can be reelected if nominated by ANOC. He has been president of the Olympic Council of Ireland since 1989.
2015 ranking: 12
Written by Ed Hula.
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