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Saturday, January 30, 1999 Published at 06:08 GMT

World: Americas

IOC 'ignored' 1991 corruption warning

The Olympic corruption scandal shows no sign of abating with allegations that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) ignored claims about corruption made by Canadian officials eight years ago.

Organisers of Toronto's bid for the 1996 Olympics have published a 26-page report into allegations of misconduct by visiting members of the IOC in 1991.

[ image: IOC members were accused of misconduct during a 1991 visit to Toronto]
IOC members were accused of misconduct during a 1991 visit to Toronto
Toronto eventually finished third, behind Atlanta and Athens.

The report says:

  • At least 18 of the 69 IOC visitors cashed in the first-class airline tickets the Toronto organisers had provided and found cheaper ways to come to the city, pocketing the cash.

  • Many expected gifts which were "way above and beyond what anyone would accept to be courteous and gracious".

  • Several demands were made for money, jewellery or other items that could be converted into cash.

  • The organisers were harassed by requests for special favours, including jobs for relatives and even free plastic surgery.

    But what is perhaps more embarrassing for the IOC is that, according to the Toronto bid organisers, the complaints were ignored by the Swiss-based IOC.

    No reply to letter

    The organisers raised the conduct of visiting members with the IOC but never even received a reply.

    The report does not identify individual IOC members and the organisers have refused to name names.

    [ image: Pirjo Haeggman resigned after being linked to the Salt Lake City scandal]
    Pirjo Haeggman resigned after being linked to the Salt Lake City scandal
    Two weeks ago a Finnish IOC member, Pirjo Haeggman, resigned after being linked with the original Salt Lake City bid scandal.

    It was later revealed that the Toronto organisers helped her husband Bjarne get a job with the Ontario government.

    The report's disclosure will undoubtedly raise more questions about the leadership of the International Olympic Committee's president, Juan Antonio Samaranch, who was in charge eight years ago.

    The Toronto Olympic bid committee has admitted using bad judgement but has denied it did anything illegal.

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