Sports politics: Adelaide refused `bribery demands'

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The Independent Online
THE COMMONWEALTH Games was drawn into the Olympic bribery controversy yesterday when it was reported in Australia that officials sought scholarships for their children in return for their support for Adelaide's 1998 bid.

Nearly seven years after the Australian city was beaten by Kuala Lumpur for the right to stage the Games, the former Adelaide mayor, Steve Condous, said that officials from three countries asked for incentives.

Condous, who was the president of the Adelaide bid, said the requests were made by officials from Pakistan, Sri Lanka and an African country which he could no longer recall.

"We were asked by certain countries to give incentives to gain their votes," Condous said. "They all wanted us to set up one of their children at Adelaide University and pay for their tuition there. I said `I'm sorry, we don't do business like that.'

"They [the Commonwealth Games] are no different to what's been going on in the Olympic Games. What is happening, even what happened during our bid, made me sick."

The allegations follow claims that organisers of the Salt Lake City bid for the 2002 Winter Games bribed IOC members.

The International Olympic Committee said yesterday that it had "absolutely no record or recollection" of a Japanese samurai sword having been presented by the governor of Nagano to the IOC president, Juan Antonio Samaranch.

The statement was in reaction to a Japanese newspaperreport, which said that Samaranch had been given the sword, at the time worth more than 1m (pounds 5,400), during a visit to Nagano in May 1991, during the bidding process for last year's Winter Olympics.

Pirjo Haggman, a Finnish IOC member implicated in the bribery scandal, resigned yesterday.