22 Apr 2010

Death of former IOC president

9:05 pm on 22 April 2010

Former International Olympic Committee president Juan Antonio Samaranch has died in hospital in Barcelona after being taken ill at the weekend. He was 89.

Samaranch was being treated for heart problems and died from cardio-respiratory failure.

The former Spanish diplomat was widely regarded as the most powerful man in sport when he headed the IOC from 1980 to 2001.

Only Pierre de Coubertin, the "father" of the modern Olympics - and IOC chief from 1896 to 1925 - held the post for a longer period.

Samaranch took the Olympics into the era of professional sport, transforming the Games into a huge money spinner.

IOC president Jacques Rogge said Samaranch built the Olympic Games of the modern era.