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Ogi tipped as leading contender for Olympic Association

René Burkhalter would like to see Adolf Ogi at the helm of the Swiss Olympic Association. Keystone

Speculation is mounting about what the Swiss president, Adolf Ogi, will do once he leaves the cabinet at the end of the year. Ogi, who resigned on Wednesday, is already being tipped as a strong candidate for two top posts in sport.

Less than two days after Ogi announced his resignation, the outgoing president of the Swiss Olympic Association, René Burkhalter, said he hoped the Swiss president would succeed him.

Burkhalter, who has headed the association for 16 years, is also due to step down at the end of the year. He said that if Ogi took over, it would be a bonus for Swiss sport.

Ogi’s government portfolio includes the sports ministry, and he has a distinguished sporting background. He worked for the Swiss Ski Federation from 1964 to 1981, before joining the management of Intersport Schweiz.

From 1971 to 1983, he was also a senior member of the International Ski Federation. Correspondents say his curriculum vitae makes him the leading contender to take over at the Swiss Olympic Association.

Ogi denies he has his sights set on the post, but many believe he would be ideal for Burkhalter’s job.

Only two candidates have so far come forward: Walter Kägi, president of the rowing association, and Paul Engelmann, of the gymnastics federation. A successor is due to be chosen on November 4, so Ogi will have to decide quickly whether to stand as a candidate.

There is also speculation that Ogi could be in line to take over as boss of the International Olympic Committee, when Juan-Antonio Samaranch steps down next year.

Observers say that, as head of the Swiss Olympic Association, Ogi would be in a strong position to make a bid for the IOC job.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR