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Big names shut out in IOC athletes vote

Big names shut out in IOC athletes vote

A South Korean taekwondo champion, a German fencer, a Cuban volleyball player and a Russian swimmer are the newest members of the International Olympic Committee.
Failing to make the grade were such big-name candidates as Justine Henin, Liu Xiang, Grant Hackett and Julie Foudy.
The defeat of Foudy, the former captain of the U.S. women's soccer team, leaves the United States with only two IOC members and is a blow for Chicago's bid for the 2016 Olympics.
Russia's Alexander Popov, South Korea's Moon Dae-sung, Germany's Claudia Bokel and Cuba's Yumilka Ruiz were elected Thursday to the IOC athletes' commission. They will also serve as athletes' representatives on the full IOC for their eight-year terms.
Voting took place among nearly 8,000 athletes over the past two weeks in the Olympic villages in Beijing, Hong Kong and Qingdao.
Moon, a gold medalist in the men's over-80 kilogram division at the 2004 Athens Olympics, was the runaway leader with 3,220 votes. Popov, a four-time swimming Olympic gold medalist who won re-election to a second term, was next with 1,903.
Bokel, a fencing silver medalist, was third with 1,836 votes. Ruiz, a member of the Cuban team that has reached the bronze medal game in Beijing, got 1,571 votes.
The four will be sworn in on Sunday and introduced at the closing ceremony of the Olympics.
The election featured 29 candidates from 29 countries. Candidates had to have competed in Athens or Beijing and have a clean doping record.
Athletes and officials said Moon's big victory was the result of persistent campaigning. He stood outside the athletes' dining hall during much of the games to promote his candidacy.
"The Korean taekwondo guy has been there rain, hail or shine," Australian Olympic Committee chief John Coates told Australian reporters. "He's put in a sterling effort. He deserves something. He stops everybody and talks."
As significant as those winning election was the list of those who were shut out.
Henin, the former No. 1 women's tennis player from Belgium, finished fifth with 1,502 votes. Liu, China's hurdling icon, missed out with 1,386. Hackett, Australia's three-time swimming Olympic gold medalist, had 1,131 votes, and French tennis star Amelie Mauresmo received 1,128.
Foudy finished seventh with 1,451 votes.
Earlier this week, the IOC issued a reprimand to the U.S. Olympic Committee for offering US$50 redeemable vouchers to encourage U.S. team members to vote. The USOC apologized.
The USOC was hoping that Foudy would be elected as a replacement for Bob Ctvrtlik, the former volleyball gold medalist whose eight-year term is expiring.
"We're disappointed," Ctvrtlik told The Associated Press. "Julie is a fantastic athlete ambassador and has done a tremendous amount for women and women's issues. Even though she was not elected to this position, we will continue to try to place her in important positions in the Olympic family."
The U.S. also hoped that Foudy could play a key role within the IOC promoting Chicago's Olympic bid. Chicago is competing against Tokyo, Madrid and Rio de Janeiro. The IOC will select the host city in October 2009.
"She wouldn't have been able to vote for Chicago in any event, but I think it's just a testament to the quality of the people in the field," Ctvrtlik said. "There was an all-star group that was not elected."
With Ctvrtlik leaving the IOC, the U.S. is left with Anita DeFrantz and Jim Easton as its two members.
"We're down a member, but even though I'm stepping down from that position, I still have quite a few international positions and will continue to work and will keep doing positive things for the U.S," said Ctvrtlik, who is vice president of international relations for the USOC.
Former Namibian sprinter Frank Fredericks, a silver medalist in the 100 and 200 in 1992 and 1996, was elected chairman of the IOC athletes' commission on Aug. 4. He will serve on the influential IOC executive board.


Updated : 2021-06-13 22:19 GMT+08:00