Sports official apologizes (a little) for criticizing Olympic leaders

Sports official offers apology after strongly criticizing the International Olympic Committee

Days after his sharply worded attack on Olympic leaders, a top sports official has backpedaled, if only by a few steps.

Marius Vizer apologized for the manner in which he criticized the International Olympic Committee at a convention this week, but reiterated his concerns about the powerful organization.

"I expressed my voice and that is my opinion," he said Wednesday.

Vizer serves as president of the International Judo Federation and leader of SportAccord, an umbrella group for the federations that govern amateur sports worldwide. At the SportAccord convention this week, he described the IOC system as "expired, outdated, wrong, unfair and not at all transparent."

In particular, he believes the IOC has interfered with the work of the federations, which set rules and oversee competitions for each sport. He also called the planned Olympic television network a waste of money.

His comments sparked an immediate backlash, with several major federations — including the one that governs track and field — resigning from SportAccord in protest.

IOC President Thomas Bach was in the audience when Vizer spoke out. He later told the group that he wants to maintain a running dialogue with all the federations.

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