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July 12, 2020

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Thursday, 09 July 2020 23:18
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James Macleod will replace Pere Miró as head of National Olympic Committee (NOC) relations and Olympic Solidarity at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) from the start of next year, it was announced today.

Miró had held the positions for 26 years but will cede control of the departments to Macleod on January 1.

The Spaniard will now focus "exclusively" on his position as deputy director general for relations with the Olympic Movement.

The social development through sport unit, of which the main initiative is the Olympic Refuge Foundation, will also be handed over to the NOC relations department under Macleod.

The move suggests Miró, who joined the IOC in the aftermath of the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, is being gradually phased out as he heads towards retirement.

IOC director general Christophe De Kepper informed Presidents and secretaries general of the Association of National Olympic Committees, Continental Associations and NOCs of the changes to the administration in a letter today.

In the letter, seen by insidethegames, De Kepper claimed the reshuffle was made "in order to help our organisation evolve and so as to better prepare for the challenges facing the Olympic Movement".

The changes are significant as Miró has been heavily involved in the crises in Kuwait and Russia, while he was also tasked with heading up a department which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars to NOCs across the world.

The Kuwait Olympic Committee remains suspended for Government interference and conflicts regarding the country's law.

The Russian Olympic Committee was briefly suspended following the nation's doping scandal before the body was swiftly reinstated just three days after the conclusion of this year's Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang.

Miró has also overseen the IOC's response to cases of political discrimination in sport, where athletes are either prevented from competing or participating under their own flags because the host country refuses to recognise their nation.

Macleod has been associate director for relations within the Olympic Movement under the Spaniard since 2017.

The British official worked for Olympic Solidarity as head of athlete programmes before he became head of NOC relations at London 2012.

He then went on to work as director of athlete services and operations for the Baku 2015 European Games Organising Committee.

"I am sure that you will join me in wishing Mr Miró and Mr Macleod the best in their future endeavours in these crucial areas for the IOC, the NOCs and International Federations," De Kepper wrote.

Miró told insidethegames he was "happy for the needed evolution" within the IOC and wished Macleod success in the role.

"I will try to continue to be useful to the Olympic Movement, assisting the IOC leadership and putting at its service all my experience," he said.

"However these 26 years I still feel very young and have plenty of motivation."