But the Belgian surgeon built on those reforms, introducing tough new conflict of interest rules and a beefed up ethics commission. Members still grumble that the code of conduct is too restrictive.
And yet without those drastic steps a decade ago the IOC's credibility may have been damaged beyond repair. One only has to
look at the mess at Fifa
realise how lasting the effects of a major scandal can be.
"I definitely think the IOC is stronger now than when I took the job"
Singapore's Ser Miang Ng, one of the six candidates standing to replace Rogge in Tuesday's election in Buenos Aires, is in no doubt how important those reforms were.
He said: "Within two or three years of his presidency he re-established the credibility of the IOC.
"The whole of the IOC has real gratitude for what Jacques has done."
The Sydney Olympics of 2000 had
restored confidence in the Games
after the disappointment of Atlanta but by the time of Rogge's election at the IOC session in Moscow in 2001, problems with Athens were already growing.
Israel's influential IOC member Alex Gilady said: "Under Jacques the Olympics have been confirmed as the best brand in the world. People realise now that there is nothing more complex and difficult to organise but every time we deliver great Games.
"Jacques has steered us through every crisis with a calm, clear head. What do you remember if you hate Jacques? Nothing."
President of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge, announced the winner to huge cheers from the Tokyo contingent
That might be true. For such a powerful figure he is also, remarkably, one of the most likeable and widely respected. Some accuse the former Olympic sailor of being a dull technocrat but he sees his quiet, diplomatic style as a strength.
He has also earned praise for his
zero tolerance approach to doping,
doubling the number of tests at the Games to 5,000 and introducing more rigorous out of competition tests and target testing.
During his time in charge science has evolved to allow the authorities to re-test samples going back eight years and to create biological profiles for athletes.
"We cannot be naïve," he told me during his last interview for the BBC before standing down. "The fight against doping will never be won.
"But I am convinced it is harder to cheat now than it was when I took over."
Despite all these achievements the IOC under Rogge has still had plenty of critics.
As with the current question of Sochi and
Russia's new gay propaganda legislation,
the IOC often finds itself in an awkward and contradictory position; on the one hand espousing liberal values whilst on the other refusing to interfere in politics.
"We are not a political body, we are a sports organisation," Rogge said. "We have values and we are ready to defend those values. But we should not enter the field of politics."
This is the "soft power", which has been one of the trademarks of his leadership. Some say he has been too soft.
There are others who believe that under Rogge the Games have grown too big and too expensive to stage.
The next two hosts are a good example. Sochi is set to cost a staggering $50bn (£32bn) while Brazil is spending over $14bn (£8.9bn) on staging Rio 2016.
2020 hosts Tokyo
says it won't spend more than $4.4bn (£2.8bn) but it is committed to building 22 of the 37 required venues from scratch. As London knows only too well the final cost of staging the Olympics can be very different to the bid forecasts.
So as his term draws to a close at the 125th IOC session in Argentina, I asked Rogge what he thought his legacy would be?
"That is for others to judge. But I definitely think the IOC is stronger now than when I took the job."
And his highlights?
"There's a couple actually - definitely Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps. The way Bolt won the 100 metres in Beijing was a revelation.
"He is the face of track and field and in a way he is the face of the Olympics. It must be a difficult thing for him to bear. Phelps and Bolt are the two great athletes who have achieved performances that are beyond imagination."
From Tuesday there will be a new man in charge of the IOC. Germany's Thomas Bach is the favourite to win a six man election which includes Singapore's Ser Miang Ng, Ukrainian pole vault legend Sergei Bubka and Denis Oswald, the man who oversaw London's preparations for 2012.
Whoever wins will have their own visions and ambitions for an organisation which still faces major challenges.
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.