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Acosta resigns, in part, due to conflict

5/17/2004

LAUSANNE, Switzerland -- The president of the international
volleyball federation resigned as a member of the IOC on Monday
amid allegations of financial impropriety.

Ruben Acosta, of Mexico, said he was leaving the IOC immediately
because of his ethics dispute with the committee and to avoid
further conflict before the Athens Olympics.

Acosta also noted that he had reached 70, the age limit for
International Olympic Committee members. He was elected in 2000,
and his term would have expired at the end of the year.

Acosta said he will remain as president of the volleyball
federation, FIVB, which runs the indoor volleyball and outdoor
beach volleyball competitions at the Olympics.

The announcement came two days before the IOC ethics commission
is due to report to the executive board -- including a possible
recommendation for expulsion -- on allegations that Acosta misused
Olympic funds. A Swiss court also is investigating.

Acosta has denied any wrongdoing.

In a letter to IOC president Jacques Rogge, Acosta said he
regretted the "conflict" between FIVB rules and the IOC's "new
ways of defining ethics in sport."

IOC spokeswoman Giselle Davies said Acosta's resignation had
been accepted.

Acosta's presidency of the FIVB -- which he has headed for 20
years -- could also be in trouble. The IOC is extending its ethics
rules to all components of the Olympic movement, including sports
federation leaders.

Acosta is the first IOC member to resign since former U.S.
Olympic Committee president Sandra Baldwin stepped down in May 2002
after admitting she lied about her academic credentials.

Four members resigned in 1999 after being implicated in the Salt
Lake City bid scandal. Six others were expelled.

Acosta has been in a bitter dispute with the deposed head of the
former Argentine association, Mario Goijman.

Goijman has accused Acosta of falsifying accounts and pocketing
millions of dollars from Olympic revenues allocated by the IOC to
the international federation.