IOC looking into Vancouver-Russia secret deal

By BOB MACKIN, QMI Agency

VANCOUVER - The International Olympic Committee wants to learn more about Vancouver’s secret Russian deal that may have helped bring the 2010 Winter Olympics to Canada.

VANOC CEO John Furlong revealed in his memoir, Patriot Hearts, that the Vancouver bid team staged a workshop for Moscow’s 2012 Summer Olympics bidders in exchange for votes from Russian IOC members at the July 2, 2003 host city election in Prague.

“We have asked for any more details that he may have,” IOC spokesman Mark Adams told QMI on Tuesday.

The IOC’s ethics code bans candidate cities from making “any promise or undertaking to be performed, whatever the timing of such performance, for the direct or indirect benefit of a member, a group of members, an organization or a region.”

Furlong wrote that the deal was brokered by Collingwood, Ontario’s Bob Storey, president of the international bobsled and skeleton federation, and was sealed at a meeting with Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov. Storey lost re-election last September, within weeks of Luzhkov’s firing amid corruption allegations.

On Feb. 11, Furlong told QMI that the IOC rules did not apply because Luzhkov was not an IOC member.

“We agreed to assist each other and the Mayor of Moscow, in return for us giving a hand to help us organize a bid, he told us he would try to influence them helping us,” Furlong said. “Plain and simple, happens all the time.”

Furlong’s book said the Russians had “six or seven votes”. However, the Olympic Studies Centre in Lausanne, Switzerland told QMI that there were only three Russian IOC members at the time: Vitaly Smirnov, Shamil Tarphischev and Alexander Popov.

Vancouver was elected the 2010 host by three votes over PyeongChang, South Korea on the second ballot.

The Moscow 2012 bid lost on the first ballot in 2005. London was the eventual victor. In 2007, Russia’s Black Sea resort Sochi beat PyeongChang by four votes to win the 2014 Winter Games.

bob.mackin@sunmedia.ca

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