Following comments on Monday by SportAccord President Marius Vizer that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) was not transparent enough at the SportAccord Annual General Meeting in Sochi, Russia, yesterday the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) withdrew their membership in the organization. IPC Chief Executive Officer Xavier Gonzalez was quoted as saying, “The IPC do not agree with the comments made by President Vizer about the IOC during Monday’s opening and certainly do not support his views. […] The IPC fully supports the work of the IOC and President Bach, a man who through Olympic Agenda 2020 is pushing through the unanimously approved reforms he promised in his election manifesto.”
The IPC was not alone in withdrawing their membership. The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) withdrew their membership immediately following Vizer’s remarks, with IAAF comparing Vizer’s leadership to that of a dictator. Association of Summer Olympic International Federations has suspended their relationship with SportAccord. International Shooting Sport Federation has also withdrawn their membership. Fifteen other federations also indicated they opposed Vizer’s remarks in signing a letter of protest. Among the signers was FIFA.
Vizer’s remarks were made in front of and involving IOC President Thomas Bach. Vizer accused the IOC of being “expired, outdated, wrong, unfair and not at all transparent.” It is one of the few occasions where there has been major public discourse at the highest level of sport, and may indicative of larger power struggles going on behind the scenes.