ROME (AP) — Gianni Petrucci is leaving as president of the Italian Olympic Committee after 14 years and four terms.
Three candidates are bidding to succeed Petrucci in the Feb. 19 election: CONI secretary general Raffaele Pagnozzi; Giovanni Malago, organizer of the 2009 swimming world championships in Rome and president of the prestigious Canottieri Aniene club; and Simone Gambino, president of the Italian cricket federation.
On Saturday, Petrucci will return to his former position, president of the Italian basketball federation. CONI vice president Riccardo Agabio will oversee the committee in the month before the election.
Petrucci will be remembered for positioning CONI as one of the leading national Olympic committees in the fight against doping. He also was a leading figure in Rome's short-lived bid for the 2020 Olympics, which was dropped when the Italian government refused to offer financial support.
"After 14 extraordinary years from every point of view, I'm leaving CONI in good health," Petrucci said Wednesday after presiding over his final committee meeting as president.