IOC votes to expel 6 members in bribery scandal
March 17, 1999
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (CNN) -- The International Olympic Committee voted Wednesday to expel six members over the Salt Lake City bribery scandal, IOC officials said.
Agustin Arroyo of Ecuador, Zein El Abdin Ahmed Abdel Gadir of Sudan, Jean-Claude Ganga of the Republic of Congo, Lamine Keita of Mali, Sergio Santander of Chile and Paul Wallwork of Samoa were believed to be the first IOC members kicked out for corruption in the panel's 105 years.
The IOC members were accused of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars from the committee trying to win the 2002 Winter Games for Salt Lake City. The bribes included parcels of land and scholarships for the children of some IOC members.
IOC Vice President Dick Pound, who chaired a special commission that investigated the scandal and recommended the expulsions in January, called the ousters "the end of the beginning" of the IOC's attempt to rid itself of scandal.
"This was the necessary first step that we had to take to put some of the bad parts behind us ... and move forward into the next century," Pound told CNN.
The six accused members appeared before the IOC Wednesday morning in separate 20-minute sessions to defend themselves against charges that they accepted gifts and bribes from Salt Lake officials.
The secret votes, taken among 90 eligible voters, were 72-16 against Arroyo, 86-4 against Gadir, 88-2 against Ganga, 72-16 against Keita, 76-12 against Santander and 67-19 against Wallwork, according to IOC Director General Francois Carrard.
The votes followed an overwhelming vote of confidence in favor of embattled IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch.
Samaranch said at the start of the emergency session that the delegates' decisions were "the most important" in the history of the modern Olympic Games.
"Our main goal is to take the necessary steps to be absolutely certain that this very sad episode never happens again," he said.
Samaranch noted that while the behavior of some of the cities bidding for the Olympic Games was indeed "unethical," it was the IOC that was being judged.
Pound said the vote would help Samaranch in his quest to root out any further corruption within the Olympic committee. "It gives him a very strong hand in putting the reforms together," the Canadian said.
The committee voted in favor of Samaranch, 86-2, behind closed doors, according to members coming out of the meeting room.
Samaranch: IOC "now on trial"
The International Olympic Committee's official Web site . Le site officiel du Comité International Olympique
|Back to the top||
© 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.|
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.