The International Olympic Committee on Friday cleared New York’s bid for the 2012 Summer Games of ethical misconduct in connection with presentations made earlier this week at an Olympic gathering in Berlin -- but did not exonerate London’s 2012 campaign.
In a statement issued late Friday from its headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, the IOC said that New York’s bid had -- just as New York bidders had consistently said it had -- featured a proposal to offer marketing assistance in the seven-year run-up to the Games to international sports federations.
NBA Commissioner David Stern would head the marketing effort, and he outlined it in a Feb. 23 appearance before an IOC inspection team touring New York. The statement said, “The IOC therefore considers this matter to be closed.”
Dan Doctoroff, a deputy mayor and head of New York’s Olympic bid, said in a statement, “We are pleased that the IOC has quickly closed this issue,” adding that the marketing plan was “integral to our seven-year plan to strengthen Olympic sports.”
New York is running against London, Paris, Madrid and Moscow. The IOC will select the 2012 host on July 6. The issue of possible ethical missteps in 2012 campaigning erupted Monday after London officials announced a far-reaching plan of incentives. New York officials were then caught in a fast-moving controversy about their marketing plan -- all the while insisting they had done nothing wrong and would be cleared.
London officials have repeatedly said that they did nothing wrong. The London plan would entitle athletes and others to free phone cards, train travel and other benefits. In addition, national Olympic committees could receive $50,000 in credit toward the cost of pre-Olympic training in Britain. According to the IOC, its special ethics representative, French investigator Paquerette Girard Zappelli, has asked for “clarification.”
-- Alan Abrahamson