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Sydney Olympics were bought ‘to a large extent’, said Australian official John Coates | Olympic Games

John Coates, the vice-president of the International Olympic Committee and outgoing president of the Australian National Olympic Committee, stated “to a large extent” that Sydney was awarded the summer time Olympic Games in 2000 as a result of it “bought the Games”.

In extracts from a just lately found hour-long interview in 2008, Coates revealed that he provided funds to 2 African National Olympic Committees who had been represented on the IOC panel in alternate for his or her votes in 1993.

Coates, who can be the president of the court docket of arbitration for sport, was cleared of any wrongdoing in 1999 in respect to this by an impartial report by the auditor Tom Sheridan after it was alleged that this amounted to him providing bribes in alternate for votes. Sheridan stated the funds weren’t provided on to the IOC members and in addition criticised the IOC tips for bidding cities as unworkable.

He later admitted promising an additional $35,000 to each the NOCs represented by Kenya’s IOC member Charles Mukora and Uganda’s IOC member Francis Nyangweso at a dinner on the final night time earlier than the IOC vote in Monte Carlo. “I wasn’t going to die wondering why we didn’t win,” stated Coates in 1999, including that there had been nothing “sinister” in regards to the association.

“There were no payments made, letters were handed over with commitments to two African NOCs,” he added in 2004 after an investigation by the BBC Panorama programme.

Coates, the main Australian official within the Olympic motion, was vice-president of the Sydney bid committee. It is known that Coates doesn’t dispute that, on behalf of the Australian Organising Committee on the time, he provided contingent grants and sports activities help to the NOCs of Kenya and Uganda underneath the AOC’s programme of help to African NOCs. Such grants weren’t in breach of any IOC candidature guidelines on the time. They had been subsequently banned by the IOC within the wake of a corruption scandal surrounding Salt Lake City’s profitable bid to host the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Coates detailed his settlement with Mukora and Nyangweso in 1993 in an hour-long interview ranging over his profession with Victoria University sports activities lecturer Bob Stewart in 2008, as a part of a Sports Oral History for the National Library of Australia.

Nyangweso was cleared of any wrongdoing by an investigation in 1999, whereas Mukora resigned from the IOC in 1999 after the Sheridan report really useful he needs to be expelled. Mukora was additionally accused of receiving funds to his private checking account from the Salt Lake bid workforce.

Coates defined the supply to Mukora and Nyangweso, made by him because the president of the Australian Olympic Committee. “Clearly the Ugandan and Kenyan members I think were very nervous about having to deal with me because I sat at their table at a big banquet the night before,” he remembered. “So I just went over and said to them, ‘Look if, you know, if you vote for us and we get up, then there’s $50,000 US [a different figure to the $35,000 that has been reported] for each of your two National Olympic Committees, 10 a year for the next five years or whatever, you tell them it’s to be spent on sporting purposes.

“That subsequently, and it was quite open about it, it was all audited. But subsequently one of those members was seen to have directed the 10 into his own bank account and there was an inquiry into all of that and so it’s suggested we bought the Games. Well to a large extent we did …”

John Coates’s lawyers said he had not breached the IOC’s rules as they stood at the time.
John Coates’s attorneys stated he had not breached the IOC’s guidelines as they stood on the time. Photograph: Denis Balibouse/Reuters

Coates additionally stated that he organized for athletes and coaches from African nations to be supplied with scholarships to coach on the famend Australian Institute of Sport in Adelaide within the lead as much as the Sydney Games at a price that was later revealed to have reached $2m, a scheme he admitted was “very important” in securing the Games.

“Wherever we would go the Chinese had put a hospital in … we were driving into Mali and they’d just say: ‘Oh, that’s the bridge that the Chinese have just built’. And they were doing the same in the Pacific,” recalled Coates.

“Obviously our government doesn’t spend money like that … And so we went away with a package of scholarships to the AIS and we were offering for two athletes and a coach to come. The idea was that the coach would learn something and go back and be able to pass that on to a wider group of people. We got there and we saw what was happening in the real world.

“So I took the decision to make it – ‘well there’s one scholarship we’re giving out but if we win you get it every year for seven years and we’ll run a camp in Australia for all your teams before they come here’. And we did that – we spent a fair bit of money.”

A spokesperson for the IOC instructed the Guardian that none of its rules on the time had been damaged.

“At the time of the Sydney 2000 candidature, financial support from an NOC standing as a candidate to an NOC for sports development was not included in the rules in force at that time. When this situation became public, it was stated that the then rules had not been breached. However, immediately afterwards the rules of conduct for the following candidature process were amended in 2003.”

Lawyers appearing for Coates stated he had a protracted and distinguished status within the Olympic motion and the world of sport and expressed concern that the extracts had been taken out of context. They added: “We are instructed that the IOC publicly confirmed that Mr Coates had not breached its rules at the time.”

Ian Chesterman, the chef de mission of the Australia workforce on the Tokyo Olympics, is succeeding Coates as AOC president after being elected by AOC delegates on Saturday.



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