John Coates Reelected AOC President

Cheryl Sanders
May 13, 2017

Coates is being challenged by Danni Roche, a Hockeyroos gold medallist, with a vote for the presidency at the AOC's annual general meeting in Sydney.

Coates, who has been AOC president since 1990 and who heads the International Olympic Committee's coordination commission for the 2020 Tokyo Games, is up for election against Danni Roche in a 93-vote secret ballot in Sydney.

He will also retain his International Olympic Committee vice-presidency as a result of winning the vote.

"Thank you very much for the confidence you've shown in me", Coates said afterward.

He now faces the task of uniting a split AOC membership as he extends his presidency to three decades.

"For God's sake John Coates, at least be original in your insults", Kristina Keneally, a former premier of New South Wales state, said in comments published by the Australian newspaper on Thursday.

Coates said the sound financial position of the AOC, and his strong leadership of it, make him the candidate best suited to the job.

"Change needs to occur", Hockey Australia President Melanie Woosnam said.

"Congratulations to John Coates on his re-election as AOC President", she tweeted.

"Although the AOC's members didn't vote for a change in president, the past six weeks marks a pivotal moment in Australian sport", Roche said after the vote.

Mr Coates' preferred picks for the two AOC vice-president roles also won their vote, with Ian Chesterman and Helen Brownlee to keep their roles after being challenged by Roche-backed Andrew Plympton.

Eligible voters on Saturday included the AOC's executive board members, two members from each of the 33 Summer Olympic sports federations and two each from the seven Australian Winter Olympic federations.

Coates had accused Roche of being a puppet of government-appointed mandarins who, he alleged, were bent on bringing an end to the independence of the AOC.

Mr Coates and the AOC executive have also agreed to independent reviews into the AOC's workplace practices after claims of bullying.

Tancred has denied the bullying allegations made by former AOC chief executive Fiona de Jong, but said last week he would step aside from his position until the matter was resolved.

Roche targeted Coates' $715,000 a year salary, which will now be reviewed.

Having finished fourth at Athens in 2004, Australia was 10th at Rio previous year and the friction between the AOC and the ASC, led by wealthy Melbourne businessman John Wylie, was nearly certainly behind the damaging presidential campaign.

In the meantime, he said he took great delight in hearing from Tokyo 2020 organizing committee president Yoshiro Mori, not long after the results Saturday became known.

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