General Association of International Sports Federations

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A non-profit organization representing all international sport federations, developing from a bureau for the federations established in 1921, and growing into the General Assembly of International Federations (GAIF) in 1967, based in Lausanne. The GAIF became the GAISF in 1976, and the following year, stimulated by Horst Dassler of Adidas, moved from Lausanne to Monaco. The association had a membership of 104 organizations and associations by 2007. The GAISF statutes stress the promotion of information-sharing and harmony among the different sport organizations, and the identification and protection of the organizations' common interests. It has become a powerful lobbying body, a platform for ambitious sports administrators and bureaucrats, for example for Kim Un Yong of Korea to profile his own sport of tae kwon do, from 1986 when he assumed the presidency to 2004 when jailed in his home country on conviction for corruption charges. It is also a way in to the corridors of influence and potential power in the world of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and Kim succeeded in getting tae kwon do accepted into the Olympic programme. The GAISF claims to speak for the interests of all sports, but ‘Mickey’ Kim's corruption conviction tarnished its reputation. His successor, Hein Verbruggen, president of the International Cycling Union, took over from Kim in 2004, and has rebranded the annual meetings of the GAISF as SportAccord, held in parallel with meetings of the IOC's executive board.

Subjects: Sport and Leisure.

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