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Monday, March 15, 1999 Published at 17:53 GMT

World: Asia-Pacific

Sydney Olympics bid 'broke rules'

Sydney celebrates its successful bid

An investigation into Sydney's successful bid for next year's Olympic Games says officials broke rules set by the International Olympic Committee, but fell short of corruption.

The BBC's Red Harrison in Sydney: "Possible breaches of IOC rules"
The head of the independent inquiry, Mr Tom Sheridan, says Sydney might not have won the bid if hospitality and red carpet treatment given to IOC delegates had been less extravagant.

According to his report, members of the Sydney Olympic Committee and the IOC were in "technical breach" of the rules.

The value of gifts given to Olympic Committee delegates and assistance given to their families were found to have exceeded IOC limits.

Some of the international delegates' trips to Sydney were described as holidays in five-star hotels at popular resorts.

No further action

[ image: Michael Knight: No comparison with Salt Lake scandal]
Michael Knight: No comparison with Salt Lake scandal
But the report concluded there was no bribery or corruption, and described the Olympic Committee's guidelines as unclear and ambiguous.

According to the investigators, there is no need for further action by police or other authorities.

The President of the Sydney organising committee, Michael Knight, said the report showed there was no comparison with the scandal surrounding Salt Lake City's bid for the winter games.

The inquiry was set up following investigations into alleged irregularities in giving the 2002 Winter Olympics to Salt Lake City in the United States.

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