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The Greek Spyros Capralos was elected President of the European Olympic Committee (EOC) after defeating incumbent boss Niels Nygaard at the organisation’s personal general assembly in Athens.
Capralos, President of the Greek Olympic Committee (HOC) and member of the International Olympic Committee, received 34 votes, while his Danish rival Nygaard received 16 votes.
The Greek official is the ninth President of the EOC, succeeding Nygaard, who has served as deputy since Janez Kocijančič passed away in June last year.
“What an honor, thank you very much for your trust,” said Capralos.
“Through unity, trust and solidarity, we can take the EOC to the next level.”
The EOC General Assembly was the largest face-to-face gathering of Olympic officials since the COVID-19 pandemic that forced meetings to be held online.
A total of 46 National Olympic Committees were present in the hall in the Greek capital, four more were added from afar.
Capralos, who became the first Greek IOC member since his election to the organization two years ago, was the favorite in the pair race for the presidency.
Capralos, a member of the EOC Executive Committee since 2005, was a two-time Olympian in water polo and also served as General Director of the Organizing Committee for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.
Capralos was warned by the IOC Ethics Committee after he was implicated in black market ticket sales for the London 2012 Olympics.
After Capralos was elected IOC member, IOC President Thomas Bach claimed that a “warning cannot mean exclusion forever” and insisted that the Greek had served his sanction.
The defeat for Nygaard ends his association with the EOC and he will also give up his roles as President of the National Olympic Committee and the Danish Sports Federation later this month.
The General Assembly and elections were due to take place in Turkey in October before moving to Rome and scheduled for November.
The coronavirus crisis resulted in a move to Rome before it was announced that the key meeting would be held in Athens.
It was scheduled to take place April 16-17, but has been postponed to June due to restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
More to come