Coles denies American trips

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The International Olympic Committee delegate, Phil Coles, denied on Sunday allegations that his family enjoyed free trips to the United States paid for by Atlanta officials while the city was bidding against Melbourne for the 1996 Olympics.

The International Olympic Committee delegate, Phil Coles, denied on Sunday allegations that his family enjoyed free trips to the United States paid for by Atlanta officials while the city was bidding against Melbourne for the 1996 Olympics.

The Weekend Australian newspaper reported that the latest allegations of misconduct by Coles were given to the International Olympic Committee ethics board last week.

The file alleged Coles took his family on free trips costing about 12,000 US dlrs which were paid for by Atlanta officials while the American city was bidding against Melbourne to host the 1996 games.

IOC ethics commission chairman Keba Mbaye confirmed his panel had discussed the files but would not comment on the allegations against Coles, the newspaper said.

On Sunday, Coles said the newspaper report was not correct.

"It is totally untrue, it is quite outrageous," Coles said.

Coles has already received a serious warning from the IOC for accepting excessive hospitality and travel from Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympics organizers.

In June, Coles resigned from the Sydney Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (SOCOG) in the face of an ultimatum from the IOC.

The IOC executive board urged Coles to resign or be removed from the board for his "serious negligence" after sensitive dossiers on his IOC colleagues compiled by himself and his partner Patricia Rosenbrock reached the Salt Lake City bid committee and eventually became public.

He was also stripped of his roles on the marketing, television and Olympic program committees after an investigation into unproved claims he accepted 6,500 US dollars worth of jewelry from Athens during it failed bid for the 1996 Games.

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