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    Seb Coe leads tributes to Samaranch


    by ODN


    Sebastian Coe has led the tributes to former International Olympic Committee president Juan Antonio Samaranch, who has died aged 89.

    Samaranch, IOC president from 1980 to 2001, died in hospital in his home town of Barcelona on Wednesday.

    Coe, the London 2012 chairman who had been close to Samaranch for three decades, said he had been an inspiration.

    Coe said: "I have lost a friend, one that moulded my path through sport from my early 20s, and the world has lost an inspirational man.

    "A man that challenged us all to fight for sport, its primacy and its autonomy, a fight he led fearlessly from the front creating an extraordinary sporting movement that reaches millions of people around the world. He was quite simply the most intuitive leader I have ever met."

    Samaranch took over as head of the IOC after the Moscow Games and presided over a revolution that saw the amateurish sporting organisation transformed into a billion-pound industry.