2012 bidders point out ethical issues

Updated: November 25, 2004, 12:27 PM ET
Associated Press

MADRID, Spain -- Madrid's Olympic bidders complained to the IOC about Paris' use of French embassies to promote the city's candidacy for the 2012 Summer Games.

The Madrid group said Thursday it wrote to IOC ethical commission secretary general Paquerette Girard Zappelli, contending French authorities broke regulations by touting the Paris bid at its embassies in Kuwait and Norway this month.

Paris is favored to win the bidding over Madrid, London, New York and Moscow. The International Olympic committee will vote for the host in July.

The group Madrid said that in a presentation at the French Embassy in Oslo, Paris had invited 86-year-old Norwegian actress Wenche Foss. The group added that in a speech she lauded the French capital at the expense of other Olympic hopefuls.

Paris bid leader Philippe Baudillon confirmed Foss had been invited to the embassy Nov. 17 but said she did not represent or speak on behalf of the candidacy.

"Her views are not the views of Paris 2012 and the bid clearly disassociates itself from the comments she made on the other bidding cities," he said.

The IOC's ethics rules have been tightened since the Salt Lake City bid scandal, which led to the expulsion or resignation of 10 members for receiving cash or other inducements. Among other things, IOC members are now prohibited from visiting bid cities.

The IOC's evaluation commission will visit Madrid on Feb. 3-6 and give its recommendations to the 100-plus IOC members a month before they vote by secret ballot in Singapore.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press