BARCELONA (Reuters) - Juan Antonio Samaranch, the former president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), has died at the age of 89, the Barcelona hospital where he was being treated said on Wednesday.

Spaniard Samaranch, who was made the IOC's honorary life president when he stepped down in 2001, was admitted to the Quiron hospital on Sunday with acute heart problems and passed away at 1325 local time (1125 GMT).

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Personal note: One of my memories of Samaranch sitting "ringside" with Henry Kissinger for the Greco-Roman superheavyweight finals at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, with the stated purpose of awarding Alexander Karelin his gold medal. Rulon Gardner was not given that version of the script...

Mark