Corruption

 

As can easily be expected of an unelected body of aristocrats and grifters, the International Olympic Committee has a huge ego and a long history of corruption. Read through the following books and articles, and ask yourself if these are the people you want controlling the future direction of your city.

 

Selected Books

 

Andrew Jennings and Vyv Simpson, Dishonored Games: Corruption, Money & Greed at the Olympics (Collingsdale, PA: Diane Publishing Co, 1992).

 

Andrew Jennings and Vyv Simpson, The Lords of the Rings: Power, Money and Drugs in the Modern Olympics (London: Simon & Schuster, 1992).

 

Andrew Jennings, The New Lords of the Rings: Olympic Corruption and How to Buy Gold Medals (New York: Pocket Books, 1996).

 

Andrew Jennings, The Great Olympic Swindle: When the World Wanted Its Games Back (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000).

 

Helen Jefferson Lenskyj, Inside the Olympic Industry: Power, Politics, and Activism (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2000).

 

Helen Jefferson Lenskyj, Olympic Industry Resistance (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2008).

 

Stephen Wenn, Robert Barney, and Scot Martyn, Tarnished Rings: The International Olympic Committee Bid Scandal (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2011).

 

 

Selected News Articles

 

Ben Mathis-Lilley, “The IOC Demands That Helped Push Norway Out of Winter Olympic Bidding Are Hilarious,” Slate, October 2, 2014, http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2014/10/02/ioc_demands_oslo_drops_bid_after_over_the_top_list_of_requirements.html.

 

  • “They demand to meet the king prior to the opening ceremony. Afterwards, there shall be a cocktail reception. Drinks shall be paid for by the Royal Palace or the local organizing committee.”

 

  • “Separate lanes should be created on all roads where IOC members will travel, which are not to be used by regular people or public transportation.”

 

  • “A welcome greeting from the local Olympic boss and the hotel manager should be presented in IOC members' rooms, along with fruit and cakes of the season. (Seasonal fruit in Oslo in February is a challenge ...)”

 

  • “The hotel bar at their hotel should extend its hours ‘extra late’ and the minibars must stock Coke products.”

 

  • “The IOC president shall be welcomed ceremoniously on the runway when he arrives.”

 

  • “The IOC members should have separate entrances and exits to and from the airport.”

 

  • “During the opening and closing ceremonies a fully stocked bar shall be available. During competition days, wine and beer will do at the stadium lounge.”

 

  • “IOC members shall be greeted with a smile when arriving at their hotel.”

 

  • “Meeting rooms shall be kept at exactly 20 degrees Celsius at all times.”

 

  • “The hot food offered in the lounges at venues should be replaced at regular intervals, as IOC members might “risk” having to eat several meals at the same lounge during the Olympics.”

 

Andrew Jennings, “Meet the IOC, Ideal Candidates for a Perp Walk,” The Nation, January 22, 2014, http://www.thenation.com/article/178049/meet-ioc-ideal-candidates-perp-walk.

 

  • Thomas Bach, IOC president: “Days before the vote that elevated Bach to Olympic leadership last September, German TV station WDR aired allegations that Bach was involved in—or at least aware of—cheating in the years when he competed…. On elevation to the Olympic presidency, Bach resigned his chairmanship of Ghorfa, a German-Arab business group…[with] considerable involvement in arms sales to the [Middle East]”

 

  • Sepp Blatter, President of FIFA: “For decades, Blatter didn’t notice hefty bribes being trousered by his colleagues in return for giving World Cup contracts to Dassler companies. Accused of handling a $1 million bribe intended for Joao Havelange, former president of FIFA (the international soccer federation) and doyen of the IOC, Blatter hired investigators who reported that there was a misunderstanding and that he was no more than ‘clumsy.’”

 

  • Sheik Al-Fahad Al-Sabah: “Fahad is the 50-year-old stripling of the group, a past chair of OPEC, a Kuwaiti royal and by far the richest. Committee members seemed unconcerned by a 2008 US embassy cable, disclosed by WikiLeaks, saying he was ‘widely perceived as being corrupt.’” 

 

  • Patrick Hickey: “Seeking a wealthy patron in Europe to pay for a regional Olympics to mirror the Pan-American Games and not finding any takers among reputable leaders, Hickey turned to the president of the national Olympic committee of Belarus, whose day job is being Europe’s last dictator. Ignoring Belarus’s unenviable doping record, Hickey presented the thuggish Alexander Lukashenko with a plaque commending his ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Olympic Movement.’ But Lukashenko is broke, so Hickey pursued the oil-rich president of the Azerbaijan Olympic Committee, another head of state. A noted kleptomaniac and jailer of reporters, Ilham Aliyev has reportedly offered millions to fund the event in 2015.”

 

  • René Fasel, Swiss ice hockey official: “Three years ago, the IOC’s Ethics Commission reprimanded Fasel for a curious deal involving the payment of 1.9 million Swiss francs ($2 million) by a Swiss marketing company to a former school pal for ‘advice’ on acquiring winter sport contracts. Fasel vigorously denied palming a slice but admitted ‘a case of poor judgment.’ The CEO of that marketing company, which obtains massive contracts from FIFA, is Sepp Blatter’s nephew Philippe Blatter.”

 

  • “Half of the current 107 IOC members—eight of them princes or princesses—were chosen by Samaranch [former sports minister in Franco’s Spain and “thirty-seven year loyal fascist]. His final appointment was his son, Juan Antonio Jr.”

 

  • Guy Drut: “convicted of fraud but amnestied by former French President Jacques Chirac”

 

  • Lee Kun-hee: “the Korean boss of Samsung, who was convicted of evading $39 million in taxes—but Samsung is an Olympic sponsor and so Lee was forgiven.”

 

  • Shamil Tarpischev: “In Russia, Tarpischev has been accused of mafia associations—which he denies. It has not helped that he has been photographed with Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov, the Russian mobster accused by the US government of fixing the ice dance medal at Salt Lake City.

 

  • Princess Nora of Liechtenstein: from the royal family that has long been “the choice of tax felons and money launderers”

 

Sujay Khumar, “Sex, Bribes, and Rhythmic Gymnastics: The IOC’s Biggest Scandals,” The Daily Beast, September 6, 2013, http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/09/06/sex-bribes-rhythmic-gymnastics-the-ioc-s-biggest-scandals.html.

 

  • “After several unsuccessful bids to host the Olympics, Salt Lake City broke bad in 1998. The IOC’s Marc Hodler snitched on his money-grubbing colleagues, saying that they had accepted bribes to vote for the city for the 2002 Winter Games. It turns out people on the Salt Lake Organizing Committee had done a lot for certain IOC members: they paid for family vacations, paid for plastic surgery, paid for ski vacations, paid college tuition, paid for Super Bowl tickets. And they gave Olympic officials loads of cash, with bribes totaling somewhere between $3 million and $7 million. There even emerged allegations of prostitutes provided to sway voters.”

 

  • “A Sunday Times investigation revealed that Olympic ticket agents resold thousands of passes to the 2012 Games at more than 10 times face value. These tickets were supposed to be sold at relatively normal price to hard-working, Olympic-loving people of 54 different nations. That didn’t happen. Instead, the offending distributors made a killing off the sales. Someone in Serbia hawked 1,500 tickets for £80,000 in cash—about $125,000. In China, single tickets went for as much as £6,000. Of the nearly 9 million tickets available for the Games, about 1.2 million were distributed to these crooks.”

 

Chris Lehman, “Those Dirty Rings! Corruption-Prone IOC Always Goes for the Gold,” Observer, July 31, 2012, http://observer.com/2012/07/those-dirty-rings-corruption-prone-ioc-always-goes-for-the-gold/.

 

  • “Mr. Rogge was groomed as the successor to the Games’s long-running chieftain Don Juan Antonio Samaranch y Torelló, First Marquis of Samaranch, Grandee of Spain, a former sporting official with the fascist government of Francisco Franco who managed to reinvent himself as a global ambassador of sport with the large-scale financial backing of Adidas shoe mogul Horst Dassler. Mr. Samaranch oversaw a stunning litany of corruption in his two decades on the job—encouraging influence peddling, arranging sinecures for family members and cronies of committee members, and padding the I.O.C. board with fellow authoritarians and baksheesh impresarios. In his more expansive moments, Samaranch would also grace vicious dictators like Romania’s Nicolae Ceacescu with awards for their alleged contributions to international sport.”

 

  • “Since he came to power in 2001, Mr. Rogge has softened Samaranch’s air of thuggish self-regard, but otherwise little has changed about the Committee’s graft-friendly business model.  On Mr. Rogge’s watch, the BBC uncovered a 2004 scandal in which two reporters posing as East London businessmen persuaded Bulgarian I.O.C. member Ivan Svalkov to agree to sell his vote to site the Games in London outright for cash—just two years after the bribery-steeped Salt Lake City Games that Mitt Romney had putatively stepped in and “saved.”

 

  • “Just last year, Joao Havelange,  the former head of the international soccer federation FIFA and a longtime Samaranch crony, was forced to resign the I.O.C. board in the midst of a multimillion dollar bribery scandal involving broadcasting rights doled out to ISL, the now-bankrupt sports-licensing franchise Mr. Dassler founded to coordinate marketing for the Olympics.”

 

  • “Even Henry Kissinger sits on the Committee, presumably because it’s one of the only gatherings of global autocrats in which he looks comparatively unindictable.”

 

Barry Petchesky, “A Reminder that Everything about the Olympics is Always Corrupt,” Deadspin, June 18, 2012, http://deadspin.com/5919183/a-reminder-that-everything-about-the-olympics-is-always-corrupt.

 

  • The Olympic ticket black market is thriving. Though face value for tickets is capped (at £2,012; cute), the open market's willing to pay much more. But since the tickets are distributed via official ticket sellers from each of the IOC nations, it's those authorized ticket reps who are doing the scalping. And the Times caught 27 different reps offering to sell undercover reporters premium tickets for up to $9,400 a pop. Like former Israeli Olympics swimmer Yoav Bruck, who can hook you up if you wanted premium seats to the men's 100-meter final. Or former USOC member Greg Harney, who helpfully explained to a reporter how to hide an illegal sale.

 

  • But the real winner is Greek Olympic Committee president Spyros Capralos, who claimed he obtained a second batch of hot tickets by telling the London organizers that demand in Greece outstripped their initial supply. Except, no: the Greeks aren't buying tickets, and those extra tickets were sold to the top bidders on an international black market. A GOC official denied that Capralos had done anything wrong, but then, the Times has him on tape, so good luck with that defense.

 

“Olympic Votes ‘Up for Sale,’” BBC Sport, July 30, 2004, http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/other_sports/olympics_2012/3938619.stm.

 

  • “A BBC Panorama programme will report that at least one IOC member flouted strict rules on the selection process for the 2012 Games…During a year-long investigation, Panorama reporters posed as consultants acting for clients with business interests in east London who wanted the Games to come to the city…The programme alleges that professional agents promised to secure the votes of some of the 124 voting members in exchange for money.”

 

Tom Fordyce, “The Track Record on Olympic Corruption,” BBC Sport, July 30, 2004, http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/other_sports/olympics_2012/3939219.stm.

 

  • “Hodler also said rules were broken in the bidding process for at least three other Olympic host cities over the 10 previous years - Atlanta, Nagano and Sydney…Hodler said claims or evidence of corruption hadn't surfaced before because losing cities usually wanted to bid again, and didn't want to rule out their chances by making enemies.

 

  • “Earlier this year, IOC vice-president Kim Un-Yong was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in jail on corruption charges…He was found guilty by a South Korean court of embezzling more than $3m from sports organisations he controlled, and accepting $700,000 in bribes…He was also credited with helping win the Seoul Olympics for South Korea in 1988 and was implicated in the Salt Lake scandal.”

 

Philip Hersh, “Olympic Scandal Grows, Engulfs Sydney Games,” Chicago Tribune, January 23, 1999, http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1999-01-23/news/9901230031_1_ioc-members-african-ioc-international-olympic-committee-member.

 

  • “The Olympic corruption scandal mushroomed Friday as a second International Olympic Committee member resigned and Sydney's host role for the 2000 Summer Games was called into question after documents detailing offers of $35,000 to IOC members as vote inducements were made public…Australian Olympic Committee President John Coates made the offers to two African IOC members the night before Sydney won the right to be the host for the 2000 Olympics by two votes over Beijing.”

 

Jere Longman, “Olympics: Corruption is Extensive, I.O.C. Official Finds,” New York Times, January 22, 1999, http://www.nytimes.com/1999/01/22/sports/olympics-corruption-is-extensive-ioc-official-finds.html.

 

  • “A senior official of the International Olympic Committee acknowledged yesterday that corruption in the Salt Lake City bribery scandal was extensive and involved total cash payments and benefits perhaps exceeding three-quarters of a million dollars.”

 

  • “While reports of wrongdoing have swirled for weeks, Pound offered the most detailed explanation yet by the I.O.C. of the scope of the scandal, as well as an acknowledgment that improper bidding procedures have occurred for years. He said that cash payments and other lavish gifts -- including some totaling more than $100,000 apiece -- were provided to more than a dozen members over a period of six years during and after Salt Lake City's bid on the 2002 Winter Games.”

 

  • “While Pound's report will deal only with the Salt Lake City scandal, he said the I.O.C. would expand its investigation to include every city that has bid on the Winter or Summer Games between 1996 and 2006.”

 

  • “Olympic officials have identified the other I.O.C. officials linked with the Salt Lake City scandal as Agustin Arroyo of Ecuador, Bashir Attarabulsi of Libya, Zen El Abdin Ahmed Abdel Gadir of the Sudan, Jean-Claude Ganga of Congo Republic, Anton Geesink of the Netherlands, Louis Guirandou-N'Diaye of Ivory Coast, Lamine Keita of Mali, Kim Un Yong of South Korea, Charles Mukora of Kenya, Sergio Santander Fantini of Chile, David Sibandze of Swaziland and Vitaly Smirnov of Russia.”