IOC President Thomas Bach has already confirmed his intention to stand for re-election ©Getty Images

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has set a deadline of November 30 for officials to submit their candidatures for President.

IOC President Thomas Bach confirmed he will stand for a second term during the organisation's virtual Session in July, and it is likely the German will run unopposed.

The election is due to be held at the 137th IOC Session in Athens, which has been scheduled for March 10 to 12.

The November 30 deadline approved by the IOC Executive Board at its latest meeting today is earlier than for previous Presidential elections.

Candidatures for President have to be submitted three months before the opening of the Session where the vote is due to take place under the Olympic Charter, although it "may be modified by decision of the IOC Executive Board if, in its opinion, the circumstances justify such modification".

The deadline for next year's election would have fallen on around January 10 had the ruling Executive Board not chosen to bring it forward.

The IOC Executive Board also confirmed the official elected during the Session will formally take office on August 9, the day after the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are due to conclude.

That is set to be immaterial given Bach, the ninth IOC President, is widely expected to be the only candidate.

The IOC membership is due to gather for the 137th Session in Athens in March ©Getty Images
The IOC membership is due to gather for the 137th Session in Athens in March ©Getty Images

The Session in the Greek capital is scheduled to be staged in person but Bach and the IOC have admitted it could be held virtually depending on the coronavirus pandemic, with options for the gathering of the IOC membership still being discussed.

Another Session is set to take place before the opening of Tokyo 2020, where elections for the Executive Board will be held.

Bach became an IOC member at the age of 37 and served in numerous high-ranking IOC roles, including a total of 11 years as a vice-president, before his elevation to the top job.

The German lawyer was elected to succeed Jacques Rogge as IOC President at the Session in Buenos Aires seven years ago after triumphing in the second round of voting.

Bach has faced several challenges during his Presidency, notably the Russian doping scandal, a series of referendum defeats amid a decline in interest in hosting the IOC's flagship event and the first postponement of an Olympic Games.

He was President during the Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games, both considered among the most difficult and problematic to have been held in recent memory.

Bach has also been criticised for centralising the power on the ruling IOC Executive Board, but helped orchestrate the dual award of the 2024 and 2028 Summer Olympics to Paris and Los Angeles and oversaw the signing of a broadcast deal with NBC through to 2032.