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The IOC will expand its investigation of the Salt Lake City bribery scandal to include other cities, according to William Drozdiak in a front-page report in the WASHINGTON POST. IOC Dir General Francois Carrard said that a six- member IOC investigating committee is now "gathering facts worldwide" (WASHINGTON POST, 1/19). Meanwhile, more charges and allegations continued to mount against the Games: In Toronto, James Christie reports that IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch "knew of and approved" an arrangement by which the husband of a Finnish IOC member received a job in Canada and had his housing paid for while Toronto was bidding for the '96 Games (GLOBE & MAIL, 1/19)....The Toronto GLOBE & MAIL and WALL STREET JOURNAL both report on the contract awarded by the SLOC to Spanish TV exec Manolo Romero. Romero, who won the bid to be the 2002 Games' host broadcaster despite an offer that was charging "roughly" $20M more than other bidders, has "close ties" to the IOC (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 1/19)....Stephanie Pate, the former secretary to former SLOC President Tom Welch, has been subpoenaed to appear before a federal grand jury. She is "not believed" to be a target of the investigation. Pate now works for US West as a liaison to the SLOC (WASHINGTON POST, 1/19)....Federal investigators have begun formal inquiries into escort services in the Salt Lake City area, which could "culminate with a review of charge-card records and business files" at the SLOC (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 1/16). SAMARANCH BACKS SALT LAKE: Samaranch "hinted" the IOC may help Salt Lake City organizers make-up any financial shortfall resulting from the bribery scandal: "It depends on what help Salt Lake City wants. We will find a solution. We continue to support the Games of Salt Lake City. For me there is no alternative" (AP, 1/18). Anti-Olympics activists "vowed" to gather petition signatures for a ballot initiative in 2000 on the future of the Games in Salt Lake unless lawmakers call a "special election" this spring. But state legislators said they "are not ready to order a public vote on the Olympics" (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 1/19). Meanwhile, the SLOC has made the following "structural changes" to keep the preparations "on track." Among some moves: MARY GADDIE was promoted to Managing Dir of Games Presentations; CFO MARK TANNER will oversee Games Marketing; Senior VP/Communications SHELLY THOMAS will oversee Games Presentations & Ceremonies (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 1/16).
US West officials "decided Friday to deliver" a $5M sponsorship payment that they delayed while investigations were proceeding into SLOC bribery charges, according to Bruce Finley of the DENVER POST. US West President Sol Trujillo: "We are pleased with the decisive actions of Utah Governor Mike Leavitt and the Salt Lake Organizing Committee to restore the integrity of the Winter Games." Meanwhile, IOC Marketing Dir Michael Payne said the Games' corporate sponsors "have been absolutely 100 percent behind the Olympic movement." Payne, who met with sponsors last week, called them, "Fully committed. ... They understand the steps we are taking to address the problems. They are pleased with the speed" (DENVER POST, 1/16). A-B "QUIETLY" MAKES OLYMPIC PACT: The SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Langdon Brockinton reports that A-B has "completed an Olympics ad deal with NBC." Tony Ponturo, A-B VP/Corporate Media & Sports Marketing: "We quietly did that within the last couple of months" (SBJ, 1/18 issue).