Ex-Sports Minister Arbib joins Australian Olympic Committee

SYDNEY (AP) Former federal sports minister Mark Arbib has been selected over three female candidates to join the executive of the Australian Olympic Committee, filling a vacancy created by the retirement last month of vice-president Peter Montgomery.

The selection of Arbib, the president of Athletics Australia, was announced Thursday. Other candidates included three-time Olympic gold medalist and ex-Australian field hockey captain Rechelle Hawkes, two-time Olympic equestrian gold medalist Gillian Rolton, and Cheryl Bart, a company director, lawyer and a board member of Australia's football federation.

John Coates, president of the AOC and a vice-president of the International Olympic Committee, said Arbib brought valuable experience.

''I welcome Mark as president of the Australian national federation of athletics - the sport at the core of the Olympic Games, including with most events and athletes,'' Coates said in a statement. ''He knows us as a former Minister for Sport and will be a great help in Canberra.

''Importantly he understands the needs of athletes at both the elite and grassroots levels of sport.''

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