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'It's tremendously sad to me'
Olympic executive predicts IOC ousters as result of scandal
Posted: Monday January 11, 1999 11:53 PM
SAN ANTONIO -- As many as a dozen IOC members may be ousted this month because of the scandal surrounding the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, IOC executive Anita DeFrantz said Monday.
"I can assure you that the IOC will itself take action," DeFrantz said.
"There is an investigation under way by the IOC, and in fact that investigation has pretty much concluded to the extent that letters have been sent to the members who apparently have abused their privilege."
DeFrantz, an IOC vice president from the United States, told the annual NCAA Convention that the suspected IOC members have 10 days to respond to the accusations before a report is completed and a news conference is held Jan. 25.
"By that point, we believe that we will have folks who need to resign clearly identified and, I hope, resignations in hand," she said. "So I expect there are going to be fewer members of the IOC."
Asked how many committee members will be forced out, she said: "I believe it will be less than a dozen."
Robert Garff, chairman of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee, said Monday the SLOC ethics panel investigating the scandal has identified eight IOC members who could be implicated and is "waiting to hear explanations that might exonerate" them.
Garff also said that Roger Jackson, a Canadian who helped run the 1988 Winter Games in Calgary, has emerged as "an obvious candidate" for a similar job in Salt Lake.
"He is highly regarded in Olympic circles, did an admirable job in Calgary, just left his position as a professor at the University of Calgary and certainly has the experience," said Garff, who has not spoken to Jackson.
The SLOC has been under fire since revelations of apparent bribery involving the 2002 Games surfaced two months ago.
Four investigations, including one by the Justice Department, have begun into allegations that some IOC members accepted lavish gifts and money -- more than $70,000 in one instance -- from Salt Lake boosters trying to win the games.
DeFrantz, an Olympic bronze medalist in 1976 in rowing, gave the keynote address Monday at the NCAA Convention. She and five other former college athletes were honored Sunday night as recipients of the NCAA Silver Anniversary Award.
DeFrantz said that before the Salt Lake City scandal she had not witnessed any wrongdoing by IOC members in connection with the 2002 Games or she would have disclosed it.
"Unfortunately, I did not see other people doing wrong," she said. "It's something that's not easy to detect."
Although there have been reports of bribery involving past Olympics, DeFrantz said there must be proof before action can be taken.
"Yes, there have been rumors but without facts you can't say, 'Excuse me, you've abused your privilege. You have to be removed from the IOC,'" DeFrantz said.
For several reasons, she said, she does not believe the scandal will cause Salt Lake to lose the games.
Salt Lake City was chosen because it was the best place to hold the competition, she said. She added that there is not enough time to make a change and the city would have won even without the "apparently compromised votes."
DeFrantz called the Salt Lake City scandal a "sad moment" in the Olympic history.
"It's tremendously sad for me, but I take solace in the fact that I know we can get through this," she said.
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