Zdravko Hebel, a member of the COC Founding Assembly as the representative of the Croatian Water Polo Federation, was one of the two first COC Vice Presidents, who served the longest term – from its foundation in 1991. Zdravko Hebel was Vice President until 2000, when he was elected COC President. He led Croatia's highest sports organisation until 2002, when he resigned. He was an ex officio COC Council member from 1991 to 2002.

An experienced sports official, Zdravko Hebel was also President of the Croatian Water Polo Federation from 1995 to 1998 and from 2000 to 2002, and President of the Zagreb Sports Association for nine years – from 1991 to 2000. An Olympian and Olympic Water Polo Champion from the 1968 Ciudad de Mexico Olympics, he had a rich sports career. Between 1963 and 1977, his club, the Mladost Academic Water Polo Club, won the former Yugoslav Championship three times: in 1967, 1969 and 1971. They were four-time European Champions Cup winners (in 1967, 1968, 1969 and 1971), and the European Cup Winners Cup and Super Cup winners in 1975. He played on the Yugoslav national team twenty times between 1967 and 1970. Even after finishing his career as an athlete, Zdravko Hebel remained dedicated to water polo, also as an international referee. Zdravko Hebel was born in Zagreb on 21 January 1943. He holds a doctorate in Electrical Engineering, and he is a regular professor at the School of Electrical Engineering, University of Zagreb. He has been a member of the Croatian Academy of Technological Sciences since 1993.