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Polls have IOC blessing – Elizalde

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by Nick Giongco

Frank Elizalde, former IOC Representative to the Philippines before the start of POC Elections at Wack Wack Golf & Country Club in Mandaluyong City, Manila. (MB photo | Rio Leonelle Deluvio)

Frank Elizalde, former IOC Representative to the Philippines before the start of POC Elections at Wack Wack Golf & Country Club in Mandaluyong City, Manila. (MB photo | Rio Leonelle Deluvio)

It doesn’t look like the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will intervene and prevent boxing chief Ricky Vargas from assuming the presidency of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), the long-time IOC representative to the Philippines Frank Elizalde said yesterday.

Elizalde, chairman of a three-man election panel that allowed Vargas to run despite claiming that he and cycling head Bambol Tolentino remain ineligible, said that a recent run-in with IOC officials in the Winter Games in Korea, made him realize that there was no choice but to rule against the wishes of incumbent president Jose “Peping” Cojuangco.

“I spoke with the IOC in Korea and that’s what they told me,” said Elizalde after witnessing Vargas’ landmark 24-15 victory over Cojuangco.

Following the court order was the best thing to do as he flirted with a contempt charge aside from the fact that the IOC “was very much aware of the situation in the Philippines.”

Asked about the possibility of the IOC stepping in and overturning Vargas’ win, Elizalde shook his head.

Before the elections, Cojuangco said that the conduct of the elections and events that took place will be reported to the IOC in the hopes of the IOC favoring him.

But that’s not going to happen, Elizalde insists as the decision to allow Vargas to run had the blessings of the IOC after all.

Elizalde had earlier expressed his desire to give Vargas the chance to run for fear of being cited for contempt and his surprising turnaround may have swayed the two other members of the election panel – lawyer Alberto Agra and Bro. Bernie Oca – into abiding by the court order.

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