IAAF mourns loss of General Secretary Istvan Gyulai

Sunday 12 March 2006
Moscow, Russia - The IAAF regrets to announce that Istvan Gyulai, who has been General Secretary since 1991, passed away in the early hours of this morning. He was 62 years old.

“It is with deep regret that I have to announce the death of a friend and valued colleague,” said IAAF President Lamine Diack this morning.

“Istvan devoted his entire life to our sport. As a young man, he was an international athlete in the 400m and then became Head of Sport for Hungarian TV, combining that career with important positions in Hungarian and international sport. He was a member of the IAAF Council from 1984 until 2001, and was appointed IAAF General Secretary in 1991, working tirelessly and with great imagination for the cause of world athletics. His colleagues on the Council and in our Member Federations, as well as all the members of IAAF staff, will sadly miss his friendly manner, his intelligence and his energy. I also believe that Istvan was extremely courageous in the face of a cruel illness, continuing to work as hard as ever, without complaint, until the end. I would like to send our deepest condolences to his wife Krisztina, his sons Miklos and Marton and his daughters Katalin and Julia.”

Date of Birth
21 March 1943


Hungarian, English, German, French, Russian

ELTE University Budapest - Arts Faculty - Modern Languages and Literature

Television Commentator
Formerly Head of Sport of Hungarian Television (MTV)

Posts held within the IAAF
IAAF Council Member 1984 - 2001
IAAF General Secretary 1991 - 2006
Press Commission Chairman - 1991 -2003

Competitive sports career
23 times Hungarian Champion in short distances
1961-1969 Member of National Team
Gold medal, 4x100m, Universiade, Porto Alegre 1963
Competed in Olympic Games, Tokyo 1964
Silver medal, 4x400m, Universiade, Budapest 1965

Offices in sport
Honorary Life President of the Hungarian Athletics Federation
1980 -
Member of National Council
1977 - 1989
Deputy General Secretary of the International Sports Press Association (AIPS)
1989 - 1992
General Secretary of AIPS
1991 - 2001
Vice-President of Hungarian Athletics Federation


You take people as you find them. I always found Istvan to be most welcoming and very supportive, with a ready and dry sense of humour and a big heart. Good company and a good leader.

Istvan would - and should - have been a good President for the IAAF.

It’s just incredible that the sport has lost yet another significant contributor in 2006. I am very saddened by his passing. :frowning: kk