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ROGGE INSISTS HAYATOU, OTHERS MUST FACE PROBE

By NBF News
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Hayatou
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) President, Jacques Rogge, has said on Monday that the organisation has strict ethical rules for dealing with any of its member, who 'has become tainted' after past allegations are proven.

'The whole issue is about the reputation of the IOC potentially being tainted, if facts are proven for a person that was not an IOC member at that time,' Rogge said.

The IOC Ethics Commission asked the BBC two weeks ago to pass on the evidence aired in a TV documentary alleging that Confederation of African Football (CAF) President, Issa Hayatou, took a kickback from FIFA's former marketing agency in 1995. Hayatou became an IOC member in 2001.

The Cameroonian declined to be interviewed for the BBC's 'Panorama' programme. The day after the broadcast, Hayatou said the payment of about $20,000 was a donation to CAF.

'We have asked for clarification from the BBC and then the Ethics Commission will look into the matter and will then decide which persons have to be investigated,' Rogge said.

The IOC president did not confirm which of the members are involved, citing the need to 'respect the total autonomy and confidentiality of the work of the Ethics Commission.'

The BBC investigation also alleged that former FIFA President, Joao Havelange, received secret payments. The 94-year-old Brazilian is the longest-serving IOC member with 47 years in the movement.

FIFA President, Sepp Blatter, who joined the IOC in 1999, was not accused by the BBC of receiving kickbacks.

Rogge said on Monday that Blatter kept him informed in recent weeks, as FIFA dealt with accusations of bribe taking and vote rigging in the process of choosing hosts for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Two voters from FIFA's Executive Committee, plus four past members, were suspended from all soccer duties by its ethics court, which was created in 2006 in the image of the IOC's own ethics body.

FIFA refused to open its own ethics probe into the BBC allegations, saying a Swiss criminal court dealt with the matter when executives from the marketing agency went on trial two years ago. They were cleared of most fraud charges relating to the agency's financial collapse in 2001.

Rogge said Blatter understands how the IOC's ethics investigation would proceed.

'Let me tell you that Mr Blatter knows exactly in detail the system of the IOC, as he is an IOC member himself,' he said.

Rogge said the ethics panel would soon report to the IOC's executive board, which would decide if sanctions were appropriate.

'The commission is working with due diligence,' he said. 'In my humble opinion, it will not last for months.'