Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point
On Air
Low Graphics

Monday, March 1, 1999 Published at 20:25 GMT


Olympics must ban 'gift-giving'

Salt Lake officials paid more than $1m

The International Olympic Committee should undergo a thorough reform "at all levels", following the corruption scandal over the way the 2002 Winter Games were awarded to Salt Lake City.

The changes are called for in the report of an inquiry by the United States Olympic Committee into the million dollar corruption scandal.

The inquiry blamed a "culture of gift-giving", which encourages cities wanting to host the games to try to buy the votes of International Olympic Committee members.

An earlier investigation found that two top officials who led Salt Lake City's 2002 bid, paid more than $1m to 24 members of the IOC panel which chooses the venue.

Sweeping changes to restore credibility

[ image: Mr Mitchell: Urging a major overhaul]
Mr Mitchell: Urging a major overhaul
The inquiry report said sweeping changes were needed to restore the Olympics' credibility and to ensure a fair selection process in future.

"What the Salt Lake City people did was wrong. But they did not invent the culture [of gift giving]," said former Senator George Mitchell, who headed the inquiry.

"It was in existence and attributable in part to the closed processes and unaccountability at the international level."

The report said cities bidding for the games should not give Olympic officials anything of value. It also recommended reforms including more elections and audits, published financial records and a central fund to handle travel expenses.

Mr Mitchell added: "The competition should be rooted in the concept of fair play and should not be weighed in favour of the city that spends the most on IOC members.

"The selection process should be free of improper influences and should be made instead on the basis of which city can best stage the Olympic Games."

'Cities also to blame'

Five IOC members are due to be expelled and four have already quit in connection with the scandal.

Embattled Olympic chief Juan Antonio Samaranch has said certain candidate cities should take half the blame.

He said several bidding cities had adopted "very aggressive policies", but conceded that some IOC members "were not honest".

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

Sport Contents

Relevant Stories

11 Feb 99 | Sport
Scandal-hit Olympic city sweeps clean

10 Feb 99 | Sport
IOC may expel more members

10 Feb 99 | Sport
Polishing the Olympic image

09 Feb 99 | Americas
Olympic probe condemns two

26 Jan 99 | E-cyclopedia
Olympic Spirit: Shiftier, Sleazier, Dodgier?

25 Jan 99 | Europe
Analysis: Putting the Olympic house in order

25 Jan 99 | Europe
Olympics bidding shake-up

Internet Links

Salt Lake City 2002

International Olympics Committee

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Collins calls it a day for Scots

Quins fightback shocks Cardiff

Christie could get two-year ban

From Health
Footballers 'receive poor medical care'

Plucky England hang around

Derby double swoop fails

European Cup starts with a bang

Spain maintain narrow lead

From Special Report
Keegan accused over late night

The next Battle of Britain

McIlroy tipped for NI role

Saqlain stars in Aussie collapse

White Rose rivals meet again

Keane talks to resume

League to rule on Sky shares

From Special Report
We'll be back for World Cup - Brown

From Special Report
Cheers and tears for Scotland

From Special Report
Keegan insists England can triumph

Solanki breathes life into draw

From Special Report
I've rarely seen anything worse

From Special Report
An almost unbelievable turnaround

Milestone for McGrath against Pakistan

Faldo's caddie dumps her bag

Irish to appeal after brawl

British Rally route and maps