Olympic Games: Six IOC members face expulsion

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The Independent Online
OLYMPIC CHIEFS were today expected to announce the final number of members they plan to throw out of the International Olympic Committee following the Salt Lake City bribery scandal.

An IOC ad-hoc panel, which has already recommended the permanent expulsion of five IOC members for breaking rules on taking gifts following its own internal investigation, planned to close its probe yesterday, officials said. Following allegations in a recent Salt Lake ethics committee report, the IOC's ruling executive board holds a global conference call today to decide whether to recommend further expulsions to a meeting of all members on 17-18 March. Olympic sources believe there is only one new case which is serious enough to merit expulsion. It is therefore likely that the extraordinary session of all members in Lausanne will be asked to vote to throw out a total of six members. They are accused of receiving gifts or services worth more than the allowed value of $150 (pounds 92) from Salt Lake before the United States city won a vote in 1995 to stage the 2002 Winter Games.

Five members have already been suspended temporarily before the vote - Mali's Lamine Keita, Ecuador's Agustin Arroyo, Sudan's Zein El Abdin Ahmed Abdel Gadir, Chile's Sergio Santander Fantini and Congo's Jean-Claude Ganga. Four others have quit over the biggest bribery scandal to hit the movement - Kenya's Charles Mukora, Finn Pirjo Haggmann, Swaziland's David Sibandze and Libya's Bashir Mohamed Attarabulsi.

The ethics report implicated a further 10. Three other members - Louis Guirandou-N'Diaye of the Ivory Coast, Kim Un-yong of South Korea and the Russian Vitaly Smirnov - have been under further investigation. Officials say the Canadian lawyer Dick Pound, who heads the ad-hoc panel, wants to close the investigation completely so a decision about Kim, the most senior IOC member mentioned in the affair, is also likely to be taken.