BERLIN - The International Olympic
Committee (IOC) will check evidence from a BBC programme for any
potential role of IOC members in an alleged bribery affair
involving world football body FIFA executives, it said on Tuesday.
The IOC has urged the BBC to send the evidence to
authorities and has referred the matter to its own Ethics
The television programme, broadcast on Monday, said FIFA
members Ricardo Teixeira of Brazil, hosts of the next World Cup,
Confederation of African Football (CAF) chief Issa Hayatou, an
IOC member, and South American (CONMEBOL) head Nicolas Leoz took
bribes from a marketing company to help it win a lucrative
The company, International Sports and Leisure (ISL), went
bankrupt in 2001.
The three men are members of the FIFA executive committee
which will decide on Thursday which countries host the 2018 and
2022 World Cups.
"The IOC has taken note of the allegations made by BBC
Panorama and will ask the programme makers to pass on any
evidence they may have to the appropriate authorities," the IOC
said in a statement.
"The IOC has a zero tolerance against corruption and will
refer the matter to the IOC Ethics Commission."
Hayatou, from Cameroon, has been an IOC member since 2001
and sits on its Women and Sport commission. He was also a member
of the coordination commission that monitored preparations for
the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
An IOC official said the Olympic body would look into any
evidence given to them to check if there was any potential
involvement of IOC members.
"At this stage we will consider any evidence that is
forthcoming. It would not be an 'investigation' at this stage
but we would of course look at any evidence sent to us," the
The IOC is sensitive to corruption allegations after its
reputation was severely damaged by the bribery scandal of the
2002 Salt Lake City Games where gifts were exchanged for votes
in favour of the U.S. city.
Several IOC members were expelled and others reprimanded,
and the organisation has banned travel by its members to
candidate cities since then.
England, Russia, Spain/Portugal and Belgium/Netherlands are
bidding to host the 2018 World Cup, with United States, Japan,
Australia, South Korea and Qatar the candidates for 2022.
FIFA's executive committee, which holds exclusive voting
rights in the contest, has already lost two of its 24 members
after they were suspended earlier this month for offering to
sell their votes to undercover newspaper reporters from
Britain's Sunday Times newspaper.
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