LONDON (AP) - Denis Oswald declared his candidacy for IOC president Friday, becoming the fifth member and second European to enter the race to succeed Jacques Rogge.

The 66-year-old Swiss lawyer and head of the international rowing federation sent a letter to IOC members announcing his decision.

"My 40 years of service to the Olympic movement have provided me with a comprehensive understanding of our organization as well as its role and significance in the wider world," Oswald said.

"This knowledge and experience ... will enable me to advance the Olympic cause and enhance the IOC's authority as the leader of world sport."

Oswald joins a field that already includes International Olympic Committee vice presidents Thomas Bach of Germany and Ng Ser Miang of Singapore, Richard Carrion of Puerto Rico and C.K. Wu of Taiwan. Former pole vaulter Sergei Bubka of Ukraine is expected to announce his bid next week.

Rogge is stepping down in September after 12 years as president. The election is Sept. 10 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Oswald told members he will present his "vision and philosophy" in the coming weeks, and he scheduled a news conference for June 3 in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Oswald and Bach will be vying for European support. Bach, a lawyer and former Olympic fencer, has been considered a front-runner.

Bach was the first to declare his candidacy two weeks ago, followed a week later by Ng. Carrion, chairman of the IOC finance commission, and Wu, president of the international amateur boxing association, made their bids earlier this week.

Oswald has been an IOC member since 1991. He competed in rowing at the 1968, 1972 and 1976 Olympics, winning a bronze medal in the fours event in Mexico City in `68.

Oswald has been president of the rowing federation since 1989, with his term ending later this year. He served as head of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations from 2000-2012, which gave him a place on the policy-making IOC executive board for that period.

Oswald gained standing in the IOC as chairman of the coordination commission for the 2004 Athens Olympics and 2012 London Games, a position that required oversight of all preparations.

Oswald is also a lawyer based in Neuchatel, Switzerland, and has served as an arbitrator for the Court of Arbitration for Sport.


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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