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Growth, scandal mark Samaranch era

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Life has come full circle for Juan Antonio Samaranch.

In Moscow in 1980, as a little-known Spanish diplomat, he was elected the seventh president of the International Olympic Committee, the most powerful job in global sports.

Twenty-one years later, now a world figure, Samaranch has returned to Moscow to finish a term marked by unprecedented growth but also by scandal.

Committee members will choose his successor in a secret ballot on Monday, the anniversary of his election and one day before his 81st birthday. Samaranch retires as the second-longest serving president in the 107-year history of the IOC. Only Pierre de Coubertin, the French baron who founded the modern Olympics, was in office longer, serving 29 years (1896-1925). He has cited several events as his favorite during his presidency, among them the 1988 Seoul Olympics, a great success despite fears of attacks from North Korea; the 1992 Olympics in his home city of Barcelona, Spain; and last year's Sydney Games, which he described as the best ever. Samaranch's worst moments: the Salt Lake City scandal; the 1984 Soviet-led boycott.

Here are some key events and developments during his presidency:

China and South Africa were reintegrated into the Olympics after long exiles.

The number of sports in the Summer Olympics increased from 21 in Moscow in 1980 to 28 in Sydney last year.

The first woman was appointed to the IOC in 1981. Nearly half the athletes in Sydney were women.

Sham amateurism was abolished, and the Olympics were opened to professionals, including U.S. Dream Teams in basketball.

The Winter and Summer Games, previously held every four years in the same calendar year, were separated so they could be staged separately every two years.

While only one city (Los Angeles) bid for the 1984 Olympics, 10 cities vied for the 2008 Games.

Over the past 20 years, the IOC has had TV and sponsorship deals worth more than $12 billion.

The World Anti-Doping Agency was set up in 1999 to coordinate a global out-of-competition testing program.

Samaranch visited all 199 national Olympic committees and traveled about 3 million miles on 114 trips around the world.