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IOC READY TO TAKE ACTION, GAMES CONTINUE TO TAKE HIT
Published January 13, 1999
The IOC has "completed its investigation of bribery charges" involving Salt Lake City's 2002 Olympic bid and "is ready to expel members when the report is released" on January 24, according to Mike Gorrell of the SALT LAKE TRIBUNE. The AP is reporting that "at least" eight IOC members "are in danger of being expelled when investigation details are released." The SLOC's ethics panel is "not finished with its probe" and no timetable has been announced as to when it will be completed (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 1/13). STEP FORWARD? In Denver, Bruce Finley reports that the IOC report is also expected to include recommendations to change the bidding process for the Games. This had USOC "leaders confident, for the moment, that they are moving beyond a potentially devastating ethical blotch." In addition, the USOC announced that it is going to "increase oversight" of U.S. cities competing for the Games. USOC President Bill Hybl: "It's possible that the USOC would even place a USOC staff member on the staff of the bid committee" (DENVER POST, 1/13). Hybl: "Will future bid cities see more of the USOC? The answer is yes" (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/13). WALK WITH JUAN: The bribery scandal led ABC's "World News Tonight," with Peter Jennings reporting that it is "seriously undermining the next Winter Olympic Games. ... Every day, the Olympics and some of the people who run them are under attack." UT Gov. Mike Leavitt: "The IOC needs to come to the table here. They need to participate in a bigger way now in ensuring that these Games are successful. ... In every way." ABC's Tom Foreman said the IOC has "shown no inclination to kick in more funding or renegotiate with sponsors" ("World News Tonight," ABC, 1/12). Despite some calls for the resignation of IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch, IOC Exec VP Anita DeFrantz told USA TODAY's Mike Dodd that Samaranch is "a good president and has done an excellent job for the Olympics. He should and will stay in office until he concludes his mandate in 2001" (USA TODAY, 1/13). IOC Exec VP Dick Pound said the Games will remain in Salt Lake City: "Salt Lake has cleaned house and the IOC is cleaning house" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 1/13). MASCOTS ARE PEOPLE, TOO, AREN'T THEY? Due to the negative publicity around the 2002 Games, the SLOC has postponed its February 8 unveiling of the new mascots for the Games. A new date will be announced next month. SLOC Senior VP/Communications Shelley Thomas: "This is not the appropriate time. Our mascots should receive the positive attention they deserve" (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 1/13).