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Friday, January 22, 1999 Published at 06:57 GMT


IOC to expand inquiry

IOC head Juan Antonio Samaranch: Awaiting inquiry results

The International Olympic Committee is planning to widen its investigation into bribery allegations, the head of the organisation's inquiry has said.

Dick Pound said cities that had put in bids for the Olympics between 1996 and 2006 would be asked for information.

The inquiry has been looking into allegations that 13 IOC members accepted inducements to award the 2002 Winter Olympics to Salt Lake City in the United States.

[ image: Dick Pound: Report expected to have a big impact on the IOC's future]
Dick Pound: Report expected to have a big impact on the IOC's future
Mr Pound said there was irrefutable proof that money, presents and donations had been accepted - but no evidence of any criminal activity.

He called it flagrant abuse, apologised on behalf of the IOC and said it was ready to severely punish the culprits.

His report is due to be presented to the IOC's executive committee on Sunday.

Forlorn call

Simon Clegg: "It is too late now to change the venue from Salt Lake City" (BBC Radio 5 Live)
Earlier, the chief executive of the British Olympic Association, Simon Clegg, said Salt Lake City should not be allowed to stage the 2002 Winter Games.

But he acknowledged that there was not enough time left for the International Olympic Committee to find a new host.

"In a perfect world, Salt Lake City wouldn't be allowed to host the 2002 Games, but the practicalities of the situation mean that finding an alternative at such short notice would be almost impossible," he said.

[ image: Simon Clegg is calling for a complete overhaul of the bidding system]
Simon Clegg is calling for a complete overhaul of the bidding system
His comments followed further damaging revelations about the bidding process which resulted in the US city being awarded the event by the IOC.

Sydney Fennbach, a member of the Salt Lake City bid team, has alleged that a suitcase containing $5,000 (£3,000) was used to provide hospitality for members of the IOC.

"When an IOC member came to town there was an incredible effort to wine, dine and impress," said Mr Fennbach.

The scandal has already seen the resignation of Pirjo Haggman of Finland, and another 12 IOC members are set to be implicated in the inquiry report.

Report reveals history of bribery

The confidential report says the US city spent more than £400,000 on gifts and payments during the bidding for and after winning the 2002 Winter Games, the Wall Street Journal has reported.

The IOC report allegedly highlights the activities of two unofficial agents, one who offered to deliver votes for £1.3m and another who promised nine European votes for £30,000-£60,000 each.

Football's governing body, Fifa, has promised that strict rules will be followed as it considers which country should host the 2006 World Cup finals.

President Sepp Blatter said that the smaller size of the Fifa executive made it more difficult for people to try to influence their decisions.

He said: "Twenty-one members is really a group of people that are easier to supervise than a group of 114."

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