SportAccord President Marius Vizer, who drew condemnation after he sharply criticized the International Olympic Committee, announced his resignation Sunday in a defiant letter posted to the umbrella organization's website.
During an April convention for international sporting federations in Sochi, Russia, Vizer accused the IOC of perpetuating a system that is "expired, outdated, wrong, unfair and not at all transparent." He went on to say that the Olympics could be "headed for destruction" if big changes were not made.
Vizer's comments immediately sparked ire among many Olympic sporting federations, some of which later signed a letter of support for IOC President Thomas Bach. In addition, about two dozen federations have suspended their memberships or left SportsAccord, which represents Olympic and non-Olympic federations.
“We have been informed of the resignation,” the IOC said in a statement. “We will continue our on-going work and consultation with the international federations and other members of the Olympic Movement. The topic will be discussed at the IOC executive board next week.”
In his resignation letter, Vizer lamented the lack of transparency at the leadership levels of international sport. He also took a defiant stance over proposals he made.
"I withdraw with honor and for the honor of sport, its credibility in society, and I hope that one day sport becomes a completely transparent system, a moral code and a model for society," Vizer said in the statement. "Everything I proposed is right and I hope to have opened a door that had been closed for a century, and I hope it remains open forever for the benefit of sport and its values."
Vizer went on to say he believes the "system" lacks professionalism.
"Today, the system working behind the doors is dictated by nobility titles or family inherited titles, or by members appointed for life and I hope that in the future, the basic criteria of the system will be dictated by the achievements in sport, professionalism, performances, fair-play, transparency and the courage to express the truth," Vizer said.
He also accused the IOC of not wanting to work with him on proposals aimed at strengthening international sports.
"I did try to collaborate with the IOC in the two years of my mandate, submitting them numerous proposals for collaboration between the two organizations, but these were always rejected without any plausible explanation," Vizer wrote. "My door has always been open for collaboration, theirs was always closed!"
Vizer said he will remain chief of the International Judo Federation.