Thomas Bach elected as new IOC president
• 59-year-old German wins vote in Buenos Aires
• Rogge steps down after 12 years in charge of Olympic body
The German Thomas Bach has been elected as the new International Olympic Committee president, making him one of the most powerful figures in world sport and global affairs.
Thomas Bach, an Olympic fencing gold medallist from Germany, has been elected the president of the International Olympic Committee, succeeding Jacques Rogge.
Bach, the long-time favourite, defeated five rival candidates in Tuesday's secret balloting.
He secured a winning majority in the second round.
A former Olympic fencing gold medalist, Bach becomes the ninth president in the 119-year history of the IOC. He is the eighth European to hold the presidency.
In a ceremony in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he was officially announced as the president, Bach said that he knows about the great responsibility of an IOC president.
Bach had long coveted the presidency, which is awarded for an initial eight-year term, and ran a sophisticated lobbying campaign in which the Kuwaiti Sheikh Ahmad al-Sabah played a controversial role.
The 59-year-old former Adidas executive, who joined the IOC in 1991 and has held a number of influential roles, will replace Jacques Rogge as the organisation's ninth president in its 119-year history.
Rogge unveiled his successor to a standing ovation from the 102 members present at the IOC's session in Buenos Aires that had already decided that Tokyo should host the 2020 Games and wrestling should retain its Olympic status.
"This makes me happy. I want to lead the IOC according to my motto - unity in diversity. I want to be a president for all," said Bach.
"I will do my very best to balance well all the needs of the stakeholders of the Olympic movement. You should know my doors, my ears and my heart are always open to you."
Rogge, considered to have restored the credibility and financial strength of the IOC following the Salt Lake City scandal, is standing down after 12 years at the helm.
Bach saw off a late effort by his five rivals - the Puerto Rican Richard Carrion, Swiss lawyer Denis Oswald, international boxing chief Ck Wu, Singaporean businessman Ng Ser Miang and former pole vaulter Sergey Bubka - to work together to stop him.
Bach has promised to overhaul the way the Games are bid for and make them cheaper to host.
He inherits a financially stable IOC but will immediately face political challenges around the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and logistical issues concerning the 2016 Rio Games.
The Kuwaiti Sheikh al-Sabah, considered an increasingly influential figure in IOC circles, admitted to lobbying on behalf of Bach in a breach of the IOC's rules.
Oswald was then also ticked off by the IOC for saying that he was concerned about Bach's links to the Sheikh, who is president of the Association of National Olympic Committees and whose lobbying was seen as a factor in the election of Tokyo as 2020 host and wrestling's successful attempt to remain on the Olympic programme.
"I want an independent candidate who is not dependant on certain alliances and who uses his position for nothing else than the good of sport," he said. "The members must make their decision but some don't like the link between Bach and Kuwait.
The German's election by the 102 IOC members present in Buenos Aires was ultimately unaffected by a withering documentary aired in his homeland in the run up to the vote.
It accused him of cheating when he was a young fencer by using a wet glove to disable the scoring system, of paying inducements to sports stars when he was an Adidas executive and of being named in Stasi files over an influence peddling scheme. A spokesman for Bach called the claims "nonsense".
The new president, who won a fencing gold medal in the team foil in 1976 before entering sports marketing and politics, defeated five other candidates in the largest field ever for the role, reflecting the relative scarcity of opportunities to run for the top job and the power it wields.
Speaking before the vote, he said he saw the role as being akin to being the conductor of an orchestra.
"The role of the IOC president is being the conductor of the worldwide orchestra of the members," he said. "He is the conductor of a fascinating orchestra with the members who have so many strengths and you have to allow to play the instrument they prefer and get them in harmony."
In the lobby of the Hilton, all the various concentric circles of interested parties - international sporting federations, lobbyists, journalists and functionaries - gathered to watch the election on a big screen.
In the first round of voting, there was a tie for last place and Association of International Boxing Associations president Wu was eliminated following a run off against the Singaporean Ng.