February 14, 2002

Salt Lake City Olympics "Bribery" Scandal

Salt Lake City Olympics "Bribery" Scandal - Well before the scandal broke, I was doing research for a possible TV sitcom script about the International Olympics Committee. It was common knowledge even then - at least among anybody who cared to look - that IOC members were shaking down potential host cities for bribes. The economic reason is simple: the Olympics don't pay the athletes anything and they have no real competition. Thus, they can make huge profits (the LA Olympics reaped over $300 million way back in 1984). Not surprisingly, IOC members, who get to decide which city will get the Games, use their power to horn in and claim a share of the loot for their own accounts. So, if you want to eliminate corruption in the site selection process, the solution is simple: pay the athletes. That will lower the profits to be made from hosting an Olympics, which will make potential host cities less willing to share the (reduced) wealth with IOC extortionists.

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