May 16, 2015

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) Longtime IOC member Peter Tallberg of Finland has died after a battle against cancer, the International Olympic Committee said Saturday. He was 77.

IOC President Thomas Bach described Tallberg as ''my first teacher at the IOC'' and said ''the athletes of the world and all those who love sport owe him a huge debt.''

Tallberg was a sailor who competed in five Olympics between 1960 and 1980, with his best result a fourth-place finish in the Star class in 1964 at Tokyo. He became an IOC member in 1976, and was the founding chairman of its athletes' commission.

The Olympic flag at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne will be flown at half-mast in Tallberg's honor for three days.

Bach said Tallberg worked for the Olympic movement for more than 40 years, and ''had a strong and far-reaching impact.'' He left the athletes' commission in 2002, becoming an honorary member of the body that is a link between active athletes and the IOC.

An avid sportsman, Tallberg also competed in skiing - winning a 1964 national slalom championship - and played squash, table tennis and golf.

Tallberg was also a former president of the International Yacht Racing Union and vice-president of the Finnish Squash Association. He was a council member of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) from 1999 to 2002.

In the 1970s and 1980s, he held senior posts with the Helsinki-based, family company Oy Julius Tallberg AB that focuses on real estate and long-term equity investments.

Tallberg studied at universities in Finland and Germany.

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Associated Press Writer Jan M. Olsen in Copenhagen, Denmark, contributed to this report.

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