Britain adds to pressure on IOC

Click to follow
BRITISH OLYMPIC officials have appealed to the International Olympic Committee to punish agents found guilty of vote-buying in bids to stage the Games.

A senior IOC executive member Marc Hodler, 80, shocked the Olympic movement at the weekend when he claimed four "agents" - including one IOC member - had been involved in vote-buying over the past 10 years. He cited alleged irregularities in the elections of at least four Olympic cities - Atlanta, Nagano, Sydney and Salt Lake.

The British Olympic Association reacted by supporting the opinion of the IOC president, Juan Antonio Samaranch, that all aspects to future bidding must be out in the open.

"The British Olympic Association believes that the bidding process should be transparent and supports the view of Juan Antonio Samaranch that those transgressing the regulations should be dealt with."

Hodler claims he has not slept since making his bribery allegations. Hodler repeated his vote-buying charges and claimed Salt Lake City had been "blackmailed" during its successful bid for the 2002 Winter Games. "These have been the worst days I have had in my long sport's career," Hodler said.

Samaranch has ruled out any possibility of taking the 2002 Winter Olympics away from Salt Lake City, but added that the current investigation involved Salt Lake because it was the only case with documented evidence. "If there is other proof, we will open other cases," Samaranch said.

Sydney 2000 officials yesterday distanced themselves from the allegations.

An Australian IOC executive board member, Kevan Gosper, told a press conference: "The issue about Sydney is dead as far as I am concerned. I was on the bidding committee and we were never involved in any bribery or corruption. No one ever approached me and I don't know any of my colleagues who were either," he said.