New Delhi: International Olympic Committee on Tuesday condoled the passing away of its former member Ashwini Kumar, describing him as someone who spent his whole career promoting Olympic values at the highest level.
Kumar, a former Secretary General of Indian Olympic Association, breathed his last in a city hospital yesterday. He was 94.
"It is with great sadness that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has learnt of the death of Ashwini Kumar, IOC Honorary Member in India, at the age of 94," the IOC said in a statement.
"The IOC expresses its deepest sympathies to Ashwini Kumar's family," it added.
IOC President Thomas Bach described Ashwini, a recipient of the Olympic Order in 2002, as a man of "high integrity" and who has a real passion for sport.
"Ashwini Kumar had a real passion for sport and spent his whole career promoting its values at the highest level of Indian sports administration," said Bach.
"It was always a pleasure working with him over so many years. His good advice and contributions were greatly valued and his high integrity was hugely appreciated," he added.
Kumar joined the IOC in 1973 and became an Honorary Member in 2000. He was a Member of the Executive Board (1980-1987, 1992-1996), Vice-President of the IOC (1983- 1987) and Member of the following Commissions: Olympic Solidarity (1980-1984), Olympic Movement (1983-1987, 1992-1996), Mass Media (1983-1989), preparation of the XII Olympic Congress ? Congress of Unity (1985-1987), Radio (1983-1987) and Council of the Olympic Order (1983-1987).
Ashwini served the police force for 36 years and retired as the Director General of the Border Security Force in 1978.
He played an active role in sport in India, particularly in hockey as President of the Indian Hockey Federation for 16 years and Vice-President of International Hockey Federation (FIH) for more than 15 years.
He also headed the Indian hockey delegation at the Olympic Games in 1964 and 1968. In addition, Kumar was President of the Indian Basketball Federation and President of the Punjab Olympic Association for 12 years.
Kumar left his mark at Commonwealth Games Federation and Asian Games Federation and was elected Life President of the Indian Olympic Association.
He enjoyed playing hockey, boxing and rowing. He also competed in track and field at state and national levels.