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UPCOMING OLYMPIC GAMES

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Top brass at the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) will assemble in Mexico City today for the first Executive Committee meeting since the death of Mario Vázquez Raña, the body's long-time leader.

The meeting will take place tomorrow, with Committee members first attending today's tribute by the Mexican Olympic Committee (COM) to a man who was a towering figure in Olympic sport.

Proceedings are sure to be dominated by issues relating to the future leadership and direction of PASO, with question-marks over both the timing of elections to determine Vázquez Raña's successor and the voting regulations that will apply.

The Committee will need to decide whether the General Assembly immediately prior to this summer's Toronto 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games is the optimum time for a leadership election, or whether first vice-president Ivar Sisniega should be left holding the reins while that key event is delivered.

There is also likely to be discussion of an ongoing statute review process.

This may lead to a change in voting entitlements from the current system; under this, each of the 41 PASO National Olympic Committees (NOCs) has a vote, and an extra vote is granted for each time a country has hosted the Pan American Games.

Given that Vázquez Raña acted as President for 40 years, it is only natural that there are a number of possible candidates for the succession.

These are thought to include Sisniega, Brazil's Carlos Nuzman, José Joaquín Puello of the Dominican Republic, Richard Peterkin, the International Olympic Committee member from Saint Lucia, and perhaps others.

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