Author Kistner on the role of IOC boss Bach

In his book, author and SZ journalist Thomas Kistner examined the question of how great the influence of Russian President Putin is and was on the German IOC President Bach. (picture alliance / AP Photo / Charlie Riedel)

The book is dedicated to Bach’s stops and kingmakers on his way to the top of the International Olympic Committee. The authors explain how Thomas Bach has always maintained relationships with extremely influential personalities – from ex-Adidas boss Horst Dassler to former IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch and the Kuwaiti Sheikh Al-Sabah.

“And if I have such an alliance now, then I will very quickly become the Kremlin’s chosen one,” explains one of the two authors of the book, Thomas Kistner, in the Dlf sports talk. “Horst Dassler is actually the inventor of modern sports corruption… He was the man who co-created Samaranch.” And Thomas Bach learned under him at Adidas.

“At that time, Thomas Bach had already been introduced to this circle by Horst Dassler, and when Horst Dassler died very unexpectedly of cancer in 1987, Bach left Adidas almost immediately” – and then very quickly began his career as a sports official.

Olympics – Close connection between IOC boss Bach and Russian President Putin

Listen 03:53

Bach’s short trip to Russia shortly before the IOC election

A key aspect of the book is the affidavit by Alfons Hörmann, the former DOSB president, to the authors of the book. According to Hörmann’s account, this statement reveals an explosive encounter between Bach and Russian President Vladimir Putin – shortly before Bach was elected IOC President.

“This affidavit that Alfons Hörmann made fits seamlessly into the landscape at that time as well as into the processes in which Putin repeatedly brought sports officials from all over the world to him,” explains Kistner.

According to Hörmann, who was still president of the ski association at the time, Bach left for a short trip to Russia in February 2011, met Putin there and then returned with the words: “I’m now sure that I can become ‘it’.”

Less than two years later he became “it”: IOC President.

Samaranch was also a friend of the Soviets

Kistner explains that Russian sports-political connections go back far into the past. Bach’s predecessor, Samaranch, already maintained close relations with the then Soviet Union and later with Russia.

“It is more than obvious that an extremely, extremely, extremely good relationship developed between Samaranch and the Soviet Union… So Samaranch was a great friend of the Soviet for 21 years at the head of the IOC.”

Russian influences in international sport have grown over decades – on the way to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and the 2018 World Cup, many sports officials were placed in international associations. “So, that’s a huge position of power from which I can operate with a ton of votes and have a lot of impact politically.”

IOC refuses to provide information

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has so far refused to answer questions about the revelations and Alfons Hörmann’s affidavit and – according to Kistner – has placed the book authors’ questions in the context of alleged Russian disinformation campaigns.

“If a top German official submits an affidavit on the facts, it has nothing to do with any Russian sources. You can’t dismiss that with Russian disinformation.”

“Putin’s Olygarch – How Thomas Bach and the IOC betrayed the Olympic Games” by Johannes Aumüller and Thomas Kistner
20 euros, 320 pages, will be published by dtv-Verlag on April 23, 2024



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *