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Playing by the Rules

The IOC may be forced to make a new game plan: Playing by the Rules

10/26/2010

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) may have to play a different kind of game in future Olympic sessions-a game called Playing by the Rules.

Decades of corruption and bribery among IOC members have been unearthed in news articles past. From screening the output of doping labs to paying off event judges, from selling their votes during the Olympic bid process to accepting lush travel vacations for family members, members of the IOC have nearly done it all.

The scandal at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City revealed that 20 of the 110 IOC members had been bribed to vote for Salt Lake for the Olympic bid. Such corruption was found to occur in the bidding process at Atlanta, Nagano and Sydney as well.

Andrew Jennings wrote about IOC corruption in his book, "The New Lords of the Rings: Olympic Corruption." The text is 360 pages long and essentially describes how the IOC members may sit on the committee for the entirety of their lives, or at least until age 80, which has resulted in one huge pile of muck because the cage is never cleaned.  In the book, Jennings asserts that a whopping seven IOC members are incorruptible.

While the corruption of the IOC members is staggering, the sleaze found among FIFA officials will make one fall flat on their face. But something is being done about it.

Sound the sirens to FIFA and IOC officials! The umbrella of immunity the Swiss law has provided in the past is now being blown over in demand for better business practices. The law had previously protected both FIFA officials and IOC members due to a loophole for sporting bodies in its anti-corruption law.

Social Democrat Anita Thanei, head of the Swiss parliament's legal committee, has "launched a parliamentary initiative for the anti-corruption laws to be amended," according to TimesLive. She states, "International sporting bodies are acting in the public interest, which is why the public is legitimately bothered when such cases are not punished."

While the Swiss law is being changed particularly to address the accusations made last week concerning FIFA's governing body, in which two members of FIFA's executive committee were suspected to have sold their votes, the amendment will significantly impact the behavior of the IOC for future Olympics to come.

Moriarty Leyendecker is looking forward to watching the 2018 Olympic Games unfold, featuring the IOC's main event. The one in which rules are followed.

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