KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: Thomas Bach has been confirmed as standing unopposed next year for a second term as president of the International Olympic Committee.

Under current rules the president can serve a first term of eight years and then a second and final term of four years.

Bach was elected by the IOC Session in Buenos Aires in 2013 and has never made any secret of his wish to carry on in power. Speculation is inevitable now that, since he is ‘only’ 67, he may want the rules changed so that he then stand for a third term in 2015.

As for next year’s election, an IOC statement said: “The members of the International Olympic Committee were informed today on behalf of the IOC ethics commission’s chair, HE Ban Ki-Moon, by IOC chief ethics and compliance officer Pâquerette Girard Zappelli that president Thomas Bach will be the only candidate for the presidential election, which will be held during the 137th IOC Session in Athens in March 2021.

“As decided by the IOC executive board, the elected president will take office after the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, which will take place from 23 July to 8 August 2021.”

In Buenos Aires Bach clearly defeated Puerto Rico’s Richard Carrión, Singapore’s Ng Ser Miang, Swiss member Denis Oswald, Olympic pole vault champion Sergey Bubka, and Chinese Taipei’s Ching-kuo Wu to succeed Jacques Rogge as IOC president. He won 49 votes of a total 93 in the final round.

Bach, an Olympic gold medallist in fencing, headed the German Olympic Sports Confederation from 2006 to 2013.