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  Monday, 16 July, 2001, 15:01 GMT 16:01 UK
The dissenting voice
Jacques Rogge, Andrew Jennings in the foreground, Jun Antonio Samaranch
BBC Sport Online asks Andrew Jennings, author of The Great Olympic Swindle, why he still believes the IOC is anything but open and honest.

It has been a busy few days for the International Olympic Committee, choosing Beijing to host the 2008 Games and announcing a new president in Jacques Rogge.

But Andrew Jennings, the IOC's biggest critic, reckons there is nothing much to look forward to, based on the organising body's track record.

"Remember the IOC is not like the rest of us," says Jennings, who describes the organisation as a "private club where democracy and morality are low priorities."

"We have this great moral IOC... but when it came to a moral issue, they ducked it
Andrew Jennings

"Its president of 21 years, Juan Antonio Samaranch, was a man who played an active part in the Fascist government in Spain under General Franco.

"If you look at that as the calibre of the man leading and choosing members, then you'll realise why there are a lot more people at the IOC who are refugees from discredited governments."

It is for this reason that Jennings says he is not surprised by the controversial decision to give the 2008 Olympics to China.

Some argued Beijing should not have been given the Games because of the country's human rights record, but Jennings claims the IOC avoided the issue deliberately.

Juan Antonio Samaranch
Jennings says Samaranch has a lot ot answer for

He continues: "If you look back at the evaluation commission they set up to go around the five cities, looking at transportation, budgeting, and venues.

"The one thing they were specifically banned on is human rights. There we have this great moral IOC but when it came to a moral issue they ducked it.

"They wanted to make sure the Games did go to Beijing because that is what their sponsors wanted.

"If they repressed any reasonable debate about human rights, they could make it happen."

Bleak picture

Jennings paints a bleak picture of Samaranch's regime, who is widely credited with turning Olympic fortunes around in the last two decades.

And the investigative writer claims the Spaniard's legacy is a sad and despairing one.

"When he came to power doping was a small problem in sport," he argues.

"Instead of addressing the problem with a mixture of education and penalties, Samaranch preferred to pretend it wasn't there.

Jennings even reckons that the very empire that Samaranch built up could come crumbling down if more positive steps are not taken towards drugs testing and anti-drug testing.

Jacques Rogge
Will Rogge herald a new era for the IOC?

"A survey done of young people around the world immediately after the Sydney Games came up with the stark picture that young people are turning away with degree of cynicism from the IOC.

"The sponsors will have read that and it may be that all the money everyone talks about will move on to other sports events.

"If the sponsors can't sell an image of a clean Games, the money will disappear."

Jennings admits that new Belgian supremo Rogge appears to be 'clean', but doubts he can improve things.

"When the next corruption scandal comes, will he try and cover up like his predecessor?

"Or will he say 'we have a problem, we are going to deal with it in public?'"

Will Jacques Rogge, the new president of the International Olympic Committee, mark a changing era for the movement? Rogge runner?
Will new chief herald new Olympic era?

A profile of the International Olympic Committee's new president Jacques Rogge
New Olympic chief

Retiring IOC president Juan Antonio SamaranchStepping down
How will Senor Samaranch be remembered?
News from the IOC's 112th Session in Moscow

China gets first Games

Rogge wins presidency

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