SBD/13/Olympics

IOC READY TO TAKE ACTION, GAMES CONTINUE TO TAKE HIT

          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).

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ABC, IOC, Olympics, SLOC, USOC, Walt Disney

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