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Juan Antonio Samaranch

Samaranch, Juan Antonio (Juan Antonio Samaranch Torello, marqués de Samaranch), 1920–2010, Spanish Olympic official. He was a businessman, an elected public official, and served (1977–80) as Spanish ambassador to the USSR. In 1954 he joined the Spanish Olympic committee, became (1966) a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and was IOC president from 1980 to 2001. During his tenure the commercial profitability of the Olympics increased enormously, largely due to the television revenues, corporate sponsorships, and licensing agreements he helped to arrange, and he oversaw such reforms as the admission of professional athletes and the encouragement of women's participation in all games and fought sports apartheid. His presidency was also marked by scandal, including the use of performance-enhancing drugs by athletes and corruption among IOC members in the selection of host cities.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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