Leo Wallner pictured at an Olympic meeting in Madrid in 2003 ©AFP/Getty Images

Leo Wallner, the Austrian who was a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) until last December, has died at the age of 79.

Wallner, a long-term general director of gambling company Casinos Austria, spent 19 years as President of the Austrian National Olympic Committee (ÖOC) until 2009.

He also almost three decades as vice-president of the Austrian Sports Aid Foundation from 1981until 2009.

He resigned from both positions over alleged financial wrongdoing concerning Salzburg’s failed bid to host the 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, but State Prosecutors dropped charges against him in 2013.

Wallner also held positions on several other bodies, including Special Olympics Austria and the Austrian Paralympic Committee.

After becoming an IOC member in 1998, he served 14 years as a member of the Finance Commission, as well as positions on both the Audit and Ethics Commissions.

His resignation as an IOC member was announced at the Extraordinary Session in Monte Carlo last December, after which he continued to be an IOC honorary member until his death.

Wallner's death was announced as the Olympic Movement gathered here for the 128th Session of the IOC.

“Leo Wallner was a real gentleman and a sports lover,” said IOC President Thomas Bach. 

“He enjoyed great respect within the IOC, and I am personally grateful for the advice he gave me.

"I am particularly pleased that I had the chance to award him the Olympic Order a few weeks ago in Vienna."

Leo Wallner (right) receiving an Olympic Order from Thomas Bach this year ©IOC/Paul Zimmer
Leo Wallner (right) receiving an Olympic Order from Thomas Bach last month ©IOC

Wallner also served in a variety of leading positions beyond the sports world, including as economic advisor to the Austrian Prime Minister from 1964 to 1967.

He then embarked on a business career in which he held several management positions on the Supervisory Board of Casinos Austria before becoming President of the Management Board of the Austrian Lotteries and President of the Supervisory Board of Casinos Austria International.

He was also Honorary Senator of the Vienna University of Economics and Business, and of the University of Salzburg.

“He has always served the interests of Austrian sports on national and international level and within the IOC with dignity and full commitment,” said (ÖOC) President Karl Stoss, who succeeded Wallner in 2009.

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