Olympic Games: Coles is forced to stand down

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The Independent Online
PHIL COLES, the Australian International Olympic Committee member, was yesterday forced to resign from the Sydney 2000 organising committee and relieved of most official duties on the IOC for writing notes about his colleagues. He retained his seat on the IOC, but the executive board which reprimanded him for "serious negligence" hinted that one more infraction would bring his expulsion.

The board said the notes written by Coles and his companion, Ms Patricia Rosenbrock, did not in themselves "constitute an offence", but that Coles was negligent in allowing them to become public.

They came to light after reportedly winding up with the Salt Lake City bid committee, which won the right to stage the 2002 Winter Games. Coles and Ms Rosenbrock denied giving them to Salt Lake. However, the IOC executive board said: "Merely to read such notes makes it reasonable to believe that the person writing them intended them for Salt Lake City."

"These are extremely severe [sanctions], just short of expulsion," Francois Carrard, the director general of the IOC, said. Carrard, however, said there "has never been talk of corruption in connection with Mr Coles".

Among other things, the notes suggested how some IOC members might vote on Salt Lake City's bid for the 2002 Games, listed their likes and dislikes and some of their idiosyncrasies.