Juan Antonio Samaranch was president of the International Olympic Committee for over 20 years (1980-2001). Before that, he held several government positions in Franco's Spain. He was literally a fascist who stayed loyal to Franco throughout the entire existence of the regime. How he managed to become the head of the Olympics is beyond me.
Samaranch died in 2010. The Wikipedia page on him - like all the IOC biographical material - is a pathetic whitewash that passingly notes his political career in Spain.
The photos, captions, and excerpts on this page come from Dishonored Games: Corruption, Money, and Greed at the Olympics by Vyv Simson and Andrew Jennings (New York: S.P.I. Books, 1992; London: Simon & Schuster, 1992). Jennings has written several other uncompromising exposés of the Olympics.
From Dishonored Games, pages 59-61:
For nearly forty glorious years Juan Antonio Samaranch was an active supporter of the longest-lived dictatorial regime in Europe. Looking at modern Spain it's easy to forget that until seventeen years ago the country was a totalitarian police state run by General Francisco Franco. Many Spaniards emigrated or turned their backs on politics and hoped that one day, democracy might return to their country.
Not Samaranch; he put on the fascist Blue Shirt and paraded through the streets giving the fascist salute. He rose to become a fascist parliamentarian, a fascist member of the Barcelona City Council, fascist president of the Catalan Regional Council and, for a while, fascist Sports Minister. In his own words, Samaranch was 'one hundred per cent Francoist'. He bowed and scraped to the leader of a political system that was shunned and isolated by the Western democracies.
Samaranch does not see his life story this way. He presents himself as a lover of sport who became involved on the periphery of politics. 'I consider it right to practice politics for the betterment of sport,' he says, 'but I think it is wrong to use sport in the service of politics.' The record shows the opposite. Only four of the twenty-one years of his career in totalitarian politics in Spain were devoted full-time to sports administration. The rest of the time sport was a vehicle for working his way towards the pinnacle of the Dictator's hierarchy. When Franco's repressive regime ended abruptly in Spain, Samaranch had no future in real politics. The only career left was in the politics of sport.
Even after he had risen to become an iOC vice-president, touring the world as a guardian of the Olympic ideal, Samaranch continue to lift his right arm in the fascist salute at political gatherings in Spain.
Now, in the 1990s, and center stage on the Olympic rostrum, his achievement is unique. Every other old fascist from that era of Europe's twentieth-century history has long since disappeared in disgrace. Samaranch is the last reminder of that Europe of the dictators still strutting the world stage.
Tens of thousands of his fellow Spaniards were shot, tortured or jailed by military tribunals. Why? Initially because they fought on the losing side in the civil war and later because they objected to living in poverty under the yoke of a one-party state. There were no civil liberties in Spain and no free elections until 1977. Until then, opposition parties were illegal.
Samaranch joined the fascist movement in his teens. He stayed loyal until it was disbanded on the eve of Spain's first democratic elections some forty years later. Samaranch never voluntarily tore up his party card. He remained loyal until fascism died under him.
Please consider donating to the one-person operation that is The Memory Hole 2