IOC says Furlong did no wrong

BOB MACKIN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:20 PM ET

The International Olympic Committee says the chief executive of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics made a factual error in his memoir, but did not commit an ethical misconduct.

Spokesperson Emanuelle Moreau told QMI Agency on Friday that a secret deal between VANOC’s John Furlong and Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov in 2003 did not constitute a breach of the IOC's code of ethics. Furlong’s memoir, Patriot Hearts, said the Vancouver 2010 bid committee agreed to advise Moscow's 2012 Olympic bid team in exchange for votes from Russian IOC members at the election of the 2010 host city.

The IOC’s ethics code says candidate cities are banned 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.”

"As far as he is not an IOC member there is no concern," Moreau said. "John has confirmed to us in writing that no IOC member was involved in any unauthorized discussion."

Furlong’s book stated that the deal with Luzhkov involved “six or seven” votes.

“In reality the number was three,” said Moreau.

Vancouver beat PyeongChang, South Korea by three votes on July 2, 2003 in Prague. The Moscow 2012 bid lost to London in 2005, but Russian resort Sochi edged PyeongChang by four votes in the race to host the 2014 Winter Games.

The Russian IOC members eligible to vote in 2003 were Vitaly Smirnov, Shamil Tarpischev and Alexander Popov. All three are now members of the Sochi 2014 advisory board.

"The current Russians had nothing to do with this, this was to do with the 2012 Olympic Games bid they were making," Furlong said Feb. 28. "We helped them and many other countries, as is our obligation."

Another passage in Furlong's book suggested that Korean hostesses working for the PyeongChang bid committee gave gifts to attendees of a Pan American Sports Organization meeting attended by IOC members at Buenos Aires.

"We have sought clarification from John who has confirmed that no IOC members were involved,” Moreau said. “Of course, should someone else be able to bring us credible and more detailed evidence we will of course take action."

The IOC established a code of ethics and ethics commission after 1999 revelations that executives of the 2002 Salt Lake Organizing Committee bribed IOC members to win the 1995 vote. The scandal forced Salt Lake 2002 president Frank Joklik and senior vice-president Dave Johnson to resign.

bob.mackin@sunmedia.ca


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