Ugandan IOC Member, 72

(ATR) Francis Nyangweso, the first and only IOC member from Uganda, died Tuesday in Kampala after a years-long battle with diabetes.

(ATR) Francis Nyangweso, the first and only IOC member from Uganda, died Tuesday in Kampala after a years-long battle with diabetes.

Nyangweso wasa former banker and major general in the Ugandan army.

He was elected to the IOC in 1988 and was a member of its Culture and Olympic Education Commission for the duration of his tenure. He also served on the Olympic Solidarity Commission from 2000 to 2001.

Nyangweso spent 28 years as president of the Ugandan Olympic Committee until his defeat by current NOC chief Rogers Ddungu in a 2009 election. He was also vice president of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa between 1974 and 1978.

A 1960 Olympian in boxing, Nyangweso served as vice president of the International Amateur Boxing Association from 1986 to 2006 and was among a handful of IOC members in Rome last September for the city's 50th anniversary celebrations.

"He was a very good friend and I am sad to hear about his passing away," AIBA president C.K. Wu said Wednesday in a statement.

"When we discussed boxing and Olympic issues he was always very outspoken. But he carried strong reasons to defend his arguments. He was a straightforward man, as his military background would suggest, and he always put the athletes' interests first."

In a statement, the IOC also offered its condolences.

"The IOC expresses its deepest sympathy to Francis Nyangweso’s family."

Nyangweso took ill upon arrival in Beijing for the 2008 Olympics and again in Copenhagen at the October 2009 IOC session. According to Ugandan media, hospital bills from kidney dialysis treatments since saddled his family with debt, forcing his wife to appeal to the country’s president for financial help last June.

The former NOC president’s last public appearance came Saturday at the UOC’s annual general assembly, where he received an award for his decades of service.

His death brings the current IOC membership down to 111 and will leave the body with 11 openings to reach its maximum of 115 once seven other members hit mandatory retirement age this year.

Nyangweso was the IOC’s most senior member from Africa.

Written by Matthew Grayson.