Controversies


Salt Lake bid scandal Main article: 2002 Winter Olympic bid scandal A scandal broke on 10 December 1998, when Swiss IOC member Marc Hodler, head of the coordination committee overseeing the organization of the 2002 games, announced that several members of the IOC had taken bribes. Soon four independent investigations were underway: by the IOC, the USOC, the SLOC, and the United States Department of Justice. Before any of the investigations could even get under way both Welch and Johnson resigned their posts as the head of the SLOC. Many others soon followed. The Department of Justice filed charges against the two: fifteen charges of bribery and fraud. Johnson and Welch were eventually acquitted of all criminal charges in December 2003. As a result of the investigation ten members of the IOC were expelled and another ten were sanctioned.[25] This was the first expulsion or sanction for corruption in the more than a century the IOC had existed. Although nothing strictly illegal had been done, it was felt that the acceptance of the gifts was morally dubious. Stricter rules were adopted for future bids and ceilings were put into place as to how much IOC members could accept from bid cities. Additionally new term and age limits were put into place for IOC membership, and fifteen former Olympic athletes were added to the committee. [edit]Other controversies: 2006-2010 In 2006, a report ordered by the Nagano region's governor said the Japanese city provided millions of dollars in an "illegitimate and excessive evel of hospitality" to IOC members, including $4.4 million spent on entertainment alone.[26] International groups attempted to pressure the IOC to reject Beijing's bid in protest of the state of human rights in the People's Republic of China. One Chinese dissident who expressed similar sentiments was arrested and sentenced to two years in prison for calling on the IOC to do just that at the same time that IOC inspectors were touring the city.[27] Amnesty International expressed concern in 2006 regarding the Olympic Games to be held in China in 2008, likewise expressing concerns over the human rights situation. The second principle in the Fundamental Principles of Olympism, Olympic Charter states that The goal of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of man, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity.[28] Amnesty International considers the policies and practices of the People's Republic as failing to meet that principle, and urged the IOC to press China to immediately enact human rights reform.[29] In August 2008, the IOC issued DMCA take down notices on Tibetan Protest videos of the Beijing Olympics hosted on YouTube.[30] YouTube and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) both pushed back against the IOC, which then withdrew their complaint. In 2010, the International Olympic Committee was nominated for the Public Eye Awards. This award seeks to present "shame-on-you-awards to the nastiest corporate players of the year".