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Last Updated: Friday, 30 July, 2004, 20:14 GMT 21:14 UK
Olympic votes 'up for sale'
The International Olympic Committee has launched an inquiry into claims of "unethical conduct" surrounding the 2012 Olympic bidding process.

A BBC Panorama programme will report that at least one IOC member flouted strict rules on the selection process for the 2012 Games.

During a year-long investigation, Panorama reporters posed as consultants acting for clients with business interests in east London who wanted the Games to come to the city.

The programme alleges that professional agents promised to secure the votes of some of the 124 voting members in exchange for money.

"We can assure everyone that we are not taking the matter lightly," an IOC spokesman told the Guardian newspaper.

"We take such matters very seriously and if the ethics commission decide there is a case to deal with then you can rest assured that it will be dealt with."

London 2012 has acted properly and ethically throughout the bidding process
London 2012 vice-chairman Lord Coe
London 2012 officials have moved to distance the city's bid from the allegations.

"What I have to make clear is that London 2012 knew nothing about this - we have nothing to hide," London 2012 vice-chairman Alan Pascoe told BBC Five Live.

"The IOC will have an inquiry and we will do everything we can to co-operate and take this story off the running order.

"We cannot go and talk to IOC members about our bid or Paris' bid. And we've been very careful to act within the IOC's guidelines."

Pascoe's fellow vice-chairman Lord Coe echoed his colleague's comments.

"We have been made aware of allegations made by the BBC Panorama programme following a so-called undercover operation in which representatives of the programme claimed to be acting on behalf of East London business interests," said Coe.

"London 2012 had no knowledge of the approaches being made apparently on behalf of London businesses.

"London 2012 has acted properly and ethically throughout the bidding process and we totally support the IOC's decision to refer these allegations to the Ethics Commission.

"We have today sent all relevant correspondence on this matter to the Commission and will co-operate in full with any inquiry by the Commission."

The BBC said on Friday: "The programme captures Panorama at its best - a year long investigation that reveals some of the underhand methods still involved in attaining the Games."

"We will be discussing how best we can help the IOC Ethics Commission, with regards to our findings, in due course," the Corporation's statement added.

IOC president Jacques Rogge promised to eliminate corruption following the 1998 Salt Lake City scandal in which 13 Olympic officials were accused of accepting bribes.

London is up against Paris, Madrid, New York and Moscow for the 2012 Games.

Q&A: Olympic bid allegations
30 Jul 04  |  Olympics 2012
The track record on Olympic corruption
30 Jul 04  |  Olympics 2012


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