Microsoft word - 00/09/30 viagra, violin #19c30b
Page C1SLOC Gifts May Make Some Blush
Viagra among favors bestowed on dignitaries
Saturday, September 30, 2000
BY GREG BURTON (c) 2000, THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE
As the white-hot Olympic spotlight shifts from Sydney to SaltLake City, the U.S. Justice Department's case against twoformer Utah bid officials will be generating new, and in somecases excruciatingly embarrassing, details of the bid scandalthat has shrouded the 2002 Winter Games.
It is a case federal prosecutors have framed not only
around the lavish gifts, cash and scholarships given toInternational Olympic Committee members and their familiesby local bid officials, but also a pattern of more intimatefavors extended to IOC members up until the scandalbecame public in late 1998.
Many of these favors, including free medical care and
paid vacations, already have been exposed. But many havenot -- including, The Salt Lake Tribune has learned, the 1995purchase of a violin, in violation of IOC rules, and thebrokering of Viagra prescriptions for two IOC members whowere visiting Salt Lake City in June 1998 to study ski slopesand skating rinks.
It is these sorts of as-yet-unreported details of the
scandal story -- tucked away in obscure letters, e-mails andreimbursement request forms -- that prompted Salt LakeOlympic Committee president Mitt Romney to offer anunusual warning days before the opening ceremony inSydney.
Gird for further embarrassments, he said, as the federalbribery case against former top Salt Lake bid committeeofficials Tom Welch and Dave Johnson wends its way to trialin 2001. A faction of the IOC offered its own warning:Prepare to be sued.
The IOC vigorously complained in May when SLOC
released a copy of the so-called "Geld" document, in whichthe Salt Lake bid committee had matched certain IOCmembers with the word geld, meaning money or gold, andhinted at anumber of other possible inducements -- jobs, bowties and medical treatment. Many of those gifts andprivileges were explained in detail and recorded by SLOCofficials. One such document, The Tribune has learned, is ahandwritten memorandum from 1998 about a visit to SaltLake just six months before the scandal erupted.
In late June of that year, 20 members of the IOC
Coordination Commission came to Salt Lake to study thecity'spreparations for the Utah Games. "They're not here to play,"Johnson told The Tribune days before the commission visit.
"This is going to be a very structured three days."
According to the memorandum, SLOC employee Van
Alford drove two visiting IOC members -- only one is named-- to a Salt Lake City urologist.
The named IOC member obtained a prescription
for Viagra, then gave Alford $1,000 to buy the
medication, used to treat erectile dysfunction.
first attempted to purchase the Viagra from a pharmacy at
LDS Hospital, but the hospital did not have enough on hand,
according to the document.
Alford eventually filled the prescription at a Smith's
Food & Drug pharmacy in the Avenues area of Salt LakeCity. Today at Smith's, $1,000 would buy about 100 tablets(10 doses of a 50 mg. tablet currently retails for $98.39 atthe store).
Independent of the SLOC document, The Tribune also
has learned that the second, unnamed IOC member
driven by Alford to the urologist obtained a
prescription for 10 to 20 tablets of Viagra.
the IOC members made an appointment to see the urologist
prior to the Salt Lake
visit, and a third party called a secretary at the doctor's
inquiring whether the two IOC members could be seen that
day. They were.
Because the transaction was not illegal, has not been
introduced as evidence in court and involved a privatemedical matter, The Tribune is not publishing the identity ofthe IOC official named in the memorandum.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration had approved
the sale of Viagra in the United States only months before
the IOC member's purchase. The medication still was
banned in many countries and at the time a single
blue tablet sold on the black market overseas for as
much as $600.
Foreign citizens can obtain valid prescriptions in the
United States, says U.S. Customs spokesman Mike Fleming.
"If it's not banned in the United States, they are not going tohave any problem, unless they have more than their normal30-day supply."
While not illegal, the transaction did violate ethical
standards, said professor Sharon Kay Stoll, director of theEthics Center at the University of Idaho. She argues SLOChad no business arranging for the purchase of apharmaceutical such as Viagra.
"It's not like [they] had the flu, that [they were] really
sickand needed help. It sounds like something [done]undercover. It doesn't look good. The thing about workingfor an organization like the [IOC or SLOC] is you have toworry about impropriety," said Stoll, author of the books,Who Says It's Cheating and Sport Ethics: Applications forFair Play.
Moreover, Stoll believes it was a mistake for SLOC to
put itself in a position to possess private medical informationon a non-employee.
The Viagra purchase occurred a year after Welch
resigned from SLOC in the wake of a domestic violence
charge. Johnson, however, remained a key member of SaltLake City's Olympic machine.
Welch and Johnson, indicted in July on 15 counts of
fraud, bribery and conspiracy, are two of five people Justiceprosecutors have linked in an alleged scheme to funnel morethan $1 million to the IOC. Welch and Johnson maintaineverything they did was sanctioned by bid committeetrustees.
The Viagra memorandum, which The Tribune has
learned is on file at SLOC, is one of hundreds compiled bythe bid and organizing committees that contain potentiallyembarrassing facts about the IOC, facts prosecutors ordefense attorneys could use at trial.
Alford referred all questions to committee officials in
Salt Lake City. The IOC declined to respond to this story.
SLOC spokeswoman Caroline Shaw said the committee willnotcomment on medical records.
Another document in SLOC's files is a May 17, 1995,
reimbursement request for two credit card purchases
submitted by SLOC employee Jason Gull. First, Gull wantedrepayment for a $524.47 violin
the document says was
given to Gen. Zein Gadir, an IOC member from Sudan. Gadir
was expelled by the IOC four months after the scandal broke
for having accepted more than $20,000 in cash and
scholarships from Salt Lake bid officials.
The cost of the violin exceeded the IOC policy for gifts
in excess of $150, but no mention of the purchase wasincluded in SLOC's ethics panel report on the scandal. Gull's
request for reimbursement came a month before Salt Lakewas awarded the Games in June 1995.
On the same reimbursement form, Gull sought
repayment for a $74.27 vibrator purchased for an
IOC member who has not been implicated in the
The one-page document does not indicate whether
Gull, who no longer works for SLOC, was reimbursed.
As Welch and Johnson head to trial, more of these
incidents will come to light, Romney said in Sydney. Some ofthe information should be publicized, at the very least todemonstrate how much SLOC has changed in the wake ofthe scandal, Shaw said on Thursday.
Preparing to Cox the Head of the Charles Hint: Don’t think you can just show up on race day (Reprinted from the USRowing Newsletter) By Yasmin Farooq Seven bridges. A serpentine course. More rowing shells crammed onto one river in a weekend than you’ll see at any regatta in the world. Not to mention hundreds of thousands of spectators lining the riverbank over a three
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