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UPDATED: 14:56, August 07, 2004
IOC takes quick action on corrupt allegation
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The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will discuss the new allegation of their members being open to bribery in bidding for the 2012 Summer Olympics, saying that necessary action would be taken to protect the image of the Olympic Movement.

The IOC communication director Giselle Davies said on Friday that the organization has taken quick action on the allegations and there expected to be "some movement" after Saturday's IOC executive board meeting here.

"As soon as it(the allegation) was made aware by the media that there was possible improper conduct to the Olympic movement, the IOC has referred the issue to the ethics commission," she said while visiting the main press center of the Athens 2004 Olympics.

"The ethics commission has investigated the issue for one week, and will make recommendation to the executive board which will make the decision".

Asked if IOC is expected to hand out tough punishment if the allegation is proven true, Davies said that "let's wait and see, but the most important thing to notice is that the IOC has moved quickly on the issue," she said.

The undercover reporters of the BBC "Panorama" program secretly filmed four agents who claimed that they could help London, one of the bidding candidates for the 2012 Olympic Games, secure the votes of the IOC members by bribery.

The program was broadcast in Britain on Wednesday night, and IOC president Jacques Rogge, who watched the video tape of the program the next day, has promised to take "the necessary action" regarding the issue.

The BBC program was based on a year-long sting operation, with reporters posing as consultants representing London businessmen who wanted to bring the Games to London.

Their investigation seemingly suggested that the corruption is hard to be rid of although the IOC has taken drastic measures to clean the house since the 2002 bid scandal of the US Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.

The scandal broke out in late 1998 and led to the expulsion of ten IOC members for receiving cash, gifts and other incentives during the bid.

The IOC, rocked by the scandal, has since put in place a series of reforms, including a ban on member visits to bid cities and strict rules on lobbying by candidate cities.

Besides London, the other four candidates for the 2012 Games include Paris, New York, Madrid and Moscow. The IOC will make the final decision in July 2005.

Source: Xinhua

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