Rome

Malago' elected head of Italian sport

Businessman was chief of 2009 world swimming championships

Malago' elected head of Italian sport

Rome, February 19 - Giovanni Malago' on Tuesday was elected the new president of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI), the governing body of all sport in Italy. Malago' is a 53-year-old luxury-car businessman and former member of Italy's five-a-side national team who has a long history in sports administration. His previous positions include being president of the organizing committee of the 2009 world swimming championships in Rome. He has been at the helm of the Circolo Canottieri Aniene since 1997 and under him the Rome sports club has attracted top athletes such as former Olympic champions Federica Pellegrini (swimming), Josefa Idem (kayak canoeing) and Alessandra Sensini (windsurfing). The separated father of two adult daughters is also famed for his reported flings with a series of beautiful women, including actress Monica Bellucci. Malago' replaces Giovanni Petrucci to become CONI's 15th president. His victory was something as a surprise as he beat CONI's current Secretary General Raffaele Pagnozzi, winning by 40 votes to 35 at an assembly. "In sport it's difficult to win, but it's also difficult not to win - I embrace Pagnozzi," said Malago'. "I consider this job to be the most important there is in this country. I'll do everything to honour it". The appointment was welcomed by a number of top sporting figures, including Pellegrini. "I'm happy Giovanni Malago' has been elected CONI's president," said the four-time swimming world champion. "Italian sport's government is in excellent hands".

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