LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) – François Carrard, the former IOC director general who oversaw the organization’s reforms in the wake of the Salt Lake City bribery scandal, has died, the Olympic body said Monday. He was 83 years old.
The International Olympic Committee said it was “deeply saddened” by Carrard’s death. The cause of death was not specified, although Carrard had suffered from poor health in recent months.
Carrard was one of the most influential sports lawyers in Switzerland and the world for more than four decades since he first legally advised the IOC.
Former colleagues and wards of Carrard continue to handle relevant cases or hold key positions in the legal structures of world sport, such as the World Anti-Doping Agency, the Court of Arbitration for Sport and other governing bodies.
Outside of sports, the polyglot lawyer was a recognized figure in the Swiss cultural and financial world, including as director of the Montreux Jazz Festival.
“François Carrard was a brilliant man with immense analytical skills and broad vision,” said IOC President Thomas Bach in a statement. “He was always a great guide and trusted advisor, and became a personal friend.”
Between 1989 and 2003, Carrard served as director general of the IOC, first under the presidency of Juan Antonio Samaranch and then for two years in the transition to the leadership of Jacques Rogge. In that time, he was with the IOC throughout seven editions of the Olympic Games, from the Albertville winter jousts in 1992 to the Salt Lake City winter in 2002. The latter had one of the most complicated anterooms in history. .
Carrard’s final years on the IOC were shaken by scandal caused by some members who accepted gifts from Salt Lake City’s winning bid.
The bribery scandal sparked a series of reforms, including the creation of an ethics commission, the application of term and age limits and a ban on visits by members to candidate cities.