Honorary IOC member Flor Isava Fonseca has passed away at the age of 99 ©Getty Images

Flor Isava Fonseca, who along with Pirjo Häggman became the first female International Olympic Committee (IOC) member and later the first female member of its Executive Board, has passed away.

IOC President Thomas Bach has led the tributes to Fonseca, desribing the Venezuelan as "a great lady of Olympic sport".

She had been an honorary IOC member since 2002 and also received the Olympic Order the same year.

Fonseca was made an IOC member in 1981 and served on the Executive Board from 1990 to 1994, becoming the first woman to do so.

Additionally, she sat on numerous Commissions including Women and Sport, International Olympic Academy and Olympic Education, and the Olympic Movement.

"Ms Flor Isava Fonseca was a great lady of Olympic sport," Bach said in a statement.

"As one of the first female Members of the IOC and the first female EB member, she was a strong promoter of the Olympic values in her home country, Venezuela, and beyond. 

"She was very well appreciated, in particular for all the many initiatives she undertook with regard to education through sport. 

"The entire Olympic Movement will remember her as a personality with a great human touch."

Flor Isava Fonseca was awarded the Olympic Order in 2002 ©IOC
Flor Isava Fonseca was awarded the Olympic Order in 2002 ©IOC

As an athlete, Fonseca was a national champion in both tennis and equestrian.

At the 1946 Central American and Caribbean Games in Barranquilla in Colombia, she won a silver medal in tennis, before going on to found the Venezuelan Equestrian Federation the next year.

Fonseca acted as its President from 1962 to 1965, was a member of the National Olympic Committee - which included a stint on the Board - President of the Sports Confederation of Venezuela from 1977 to 1981 and later a sports advisor to the Venezuelan President from 1989 to 1995, during which time she was already an established IOC official.

Away from sport, Fonseca was vice-president of of Venezuelan Red Cross for a period and founded the Flor Isava Foundation for Education and Sport for Male and Female Prisoners in 1990, serving as President of the organisation.

The Olympic flag at Olympic House is being flown at half-mast as a mark of respect following her passing.