Russia's Medvedev says former IOC President Samaranch death 'loss for all Russians'

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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev expressed his deepest condolences over the death of former President of International Olympic Committee Juan Antonio Samaranch, who passed away on Wednesday at the age of 89.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev expressed his deepest condolences over the death of former President of International Olympic Committee Juan Antonio Samaranch, who passed away on Wednesday at the age of 89.

"Juan Antonio Samaranch has always been the true bearer of the Olympic Movement spirit. He has done much for its development in the whole world," Medvedev said during his visit to Ukraine.

"Juan Antonio Samaranch has been always a big friend of our country and his death is a loss not only for those connected with the Olympic Movement, but for all citizens of Russia," he added.

Samaranch, who steered the IOC for over two decades (1980-2001) during political boycotts, bribery and doping scandals, was taken last week to the Quiron Clinic in his native Barcelona with heart problems where he died shortly after noon.

The IOC said on its website it was deeply saddened to learn about the death of Samaranch who "was widely credited with renewing and fundamentally changing the landscape of the Olympic Movement."

Jacques Rogge, the current president of the IOC, said he "cannot find the words to express the distress of the Olympic Family."

"I am personally deeply saddened by the death of the man who built up the Olympic Games of the modern era, a man who inspired me, and whose knowledge of sport was truly exceptional. Thanks to his extraordinary vision and talent, Samaranch was the architect of a strong and unified Olympic Movement," he said.

"I can only pay tribute to his tremendous achievements and legacy, and praise his genuine devotion to the Olympic Movement and its values. We have lost a great man, a mentor and a friend who dedicated his long and fulfilled life to Olympism," Rogge added.

KHARKOV, April 21 (RIA Novosti) 

 

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