IOC set to expel sixth member

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INVESTIGATORS HAVE recommended the expulsion of a sixth member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in connection with the Salt Lake City corruption scandal, the IOC said on Friday.

The IOC said a commission probing allegations of improper conduct had recommended the expulsion of Paul Wallwork of Samoa. It also recommended warnings be issued to nine members, including executive board member Kim Un-yong of South Korea.

Mr Kim has often been tipped as a possible successor to IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch.

The special Olympic commission - headed by Canadian Richard Pound - also recommended a warning for Russia's Vitaly Smirnov, another high-profile IOC member.

Mr Wallwork joins five other IOC members who have been recommended for expulsion for their actions during the bidding process for the 2002 Winter Games, won by the US city.

"The report clearly states that should additional evidence about individuals who have received serious warnings be fully established...the commission would consider that such behaviour would justify expulsion from the IOC," said a statement issued from IOC headquarters.

In a first report, the commission had already recommended the expulsion of Mali's Lamine Keita, Ecuador's Agustin Arroyo, Sudan's Zein El Abdin Ahmed Abdel Gadir, Chile's Sergio Santander and Congo's Jean-Claude Ganga.

Investigators have found evidence that IOC members accepted gifts worth far more than IOC-permitted amounts from officials on the Salt Lake bid committee.

A special session of the IOC in Lausanne next week is scheduled to vote on the recommended explusions and to decide on proposals to reform the bidding process for Olympic games.