The IOC was saddened to hear the news that South African Olympian and  former world 800-metre champion Mbulaeni Mulaudzi has died at the age of just 34.

"Our sympathies go to his family and friends, and to the whole sports family of the rainbow nation of South Africa. Mbulaeni Mulaudzi was a true Olympian and a fine athlete. A World Champion, he always showed huge commitment to his craft," said the President of the IOC, Thomas Bach. "He proudly represented his new nation around the world, and at home his successes inspired a new generation of young people to take up sport. He will be missed by the Olympic family."

Mulaudzi, who was killed in a car crash on his way to a Johannesburg athletics meeting, was South Africa's flag bearer at the opening ceremony at the 2004 Athens Olympics, where he won silver.