More accused in IOC scandal

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The Independent Online
AN ETHICS panel has implicated 10 more members of the International Olympic Committee in a report that detailed the extreme means Salt Lake City used to land votes for the 2002 Winter Games.

The widening of the inquiry includes 10 IOC members not previously tied to Salt Lake's excesses. The number of those implicated in vote-buying now stands at 24 - roughly one-fifth of the IOC's membership. Nine IOC members have been expelled or have resigned.

For the first time, the US Olympic Committee has also been tied to the corruption scandal. The panel reported that a series of exchanges among three senior officials involved "promises ... made to secure votes".

The 300-page report by an independent ethics panel for the Salt Lake Organising Committee details free trips to the Super Bowl, stays in Paris hotels and skiing holidays.

It blamed two men for the pandering: Tom Welch, president of the Salt Lake bid committee, and David Johnson, his vice-president. Both have denied wrongdoing.

Members of the bid board were not told of cash payments or bogus scholarships, and auditors failed to raise concerns about those expenditures, said the five-member ethics panel.

Those who benefited, saysthe report, included Phillip Coles of Australia and Willi Kaltschmitt of Guatemala. The two men and their families made four holiday trips together to America, including a Super Bowl trip that cost the bid committee $19,991 (pounds 12,500).

Mr Coles stepped down yesterday from Sydney's organising committee board for the 2000 Summer Olympics, pending an IOC inquiry.

The others newly implicated were Henry Edmund Olufemi Adefope, Nigeria; Ashwini Kumar, India; Shagdarjav Magvan, Mongolia; Anani Matthia, Togo; Rampaul Ruhee, Mauritius; Austin Sealy, Barbados; Mohamed Zerguini, Algeria; and Suili Paul Wallwork, Western Samoa.