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World basketball mourns the death of Patrick Baumann

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PATRICK BAUMANN, the secretary general of basketball’s world governing body, who was seen as a potential International Olympic Committee (IOC) president, has died at the Youth Olympics. He was 51.

Baumann “unexpectedly succumbed to a heart attack” in Buenos Aires despite getting immediate medical help, the International Basketball Federation (Fiba) said today in a statement.

“Basketball has lost a leader, an advocate and a friend and our thoughts are with Patrick’s wife and two children at this tragic time,” the Switzerland-based organisation said.

Baumann was Fiba’s top administrator for 15 years, and an IOC member since 2007.

“We can hardly believe this terrible news,” IOC President Thomas Bach said in a statement.

“We lose a young and sympathetic leader full of hope who was standing for the future of sport. Our thoughts are with his wife, his children and his family.”

Flags will be flown at half-staff at IOC offices in Buenos Aires and its home city of Lausanne, Switzerland. The IOC said a memorial will be held in the athlete village in Buenos Aires.

A lawyer from Switzerland, Baumann had taken an increasingly important role in Olympic circles.

He led an IOC panel evaluating the Paris and Los Angeles bids for the 2024 Olympics, and then took charge of overseeing preparations for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.

The IOC appointed Baumann to the World Anti-Doping Agency executive board, and he was elected president of the global group of sports federations.

At meetings last week on the sidelines of the Youth Olympics, Baumann updated IOC members on the Los Angeles Games and the 2020 Lausanne Youth Olympics. He was president of its organising committee.

Baumann was key to developing the 3-on-3 urban version of basketball and pushing for its inclusion as an Olympic medal event.

He earned masters degrees from the Business School of the University of Chicago, and in sports administration from the University of Lyon in France.

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