IOC seals restored ties with U.S. by voting in Probst

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - The International Olympic Committee (IOC) confirmed its restored ties with the United States on Tuesday, after a long-standing revenue dispute was settled last year, by electing U.S. Olympic Committee president Larry Probst into its membership.

Probst became the fourth United States member within the IOC, joining Anita DeFrantz, Jim Easton and Angela Ruggiero.

Probst and U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) Chief Executive Scott Blackmun helped to forge a new revenue deal in 2012 after years of disputes with the IOC over the sharing of revenues from television deals and sponsorship contracts.

"I'm honoured by today's election and proud to serve as a member of the International Olympic Committee," Probst said in a USOC statement.

"It has been a great privilege to serve as chairman of the United States Olympic Committee and I look forward to continuing our collective efforts to advance the Olympic movement and its important values of respect, frienship and excellence."

Probst has vowed that the United States will play a greater role in the Olympic movement. There is still no American on the IOC's influential executive board.

The United States is set to launch a bid for the 2024 Olympic Games in two years' time with the USOC looking for a potential host venue.

A further eight people were elected members of the IOC at the body's 125th session in Buenos Aires, including Alexander Zhukov, president of the Russian Olympic Committee which is organising the 2014 Sochi Winter Games.

Kenyan former marathon world-record holder Paul Tergat, Mikaela Maria Antonia Cojuangco-Jaworski of the Philippines, a former equestrian, and 2004 Athens high jump gold medallist Stefan Holm of Sweden were also voted in.

Other new members were Brazilian congressman and former Olympic volleyball silver medallist Bernard Rajzman and Octavian Morariu, former Romanian international rugby player and now president of his country's national Olympic committee.

Dagmawit Girmay Berhane, secretary general of the Ethiopian Olympic Committee and a member of the Badminton World Federation executive committee, was also elected.

Camiel Eurlings, a former Dutch politician who has taken over as the new president and chief executive of airline KLM, was voted in with King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands having stepped down from the IOC.

At the top of the IOC agenda in the Argentine capital on Tuesday was the election of Jacques Rogge's successor as president of the world's top sports organisation.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann and Rex Gowar; editing by Clare Fallon)

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