FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) Thomas Bach has become the first member to declare his candidacy for IOC president, saying his long experience in the Olympic movement has prepared him for one of the most powerful jobs in sports.

Bach, an IOC vice president, announced his intention to seek election at a news conference in Frankfurt on Thursday.

The 59-year-old German lawyer is the first member to enter the race to succeed Jacques Rogge, who steps down in September after 12 years as president.

Bach, a 1976 Olympic gold medalist in fencing, says he notified Rogge and fellow IOC members of his decision on Wednesday. He says he will formally submit his candidacy in June.

Bach says he has a "wealth of management and leadership experience" that makes him "well prepared" for the IOC's top job.