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SALT LAKE CITY PANEL WAS GIVEN PLAN FOR OLYMPIC PAYOUTS, PAPER SAYS

Four years before Salt Lake City won the 2002 Winter Olympics, local business leaders received a plan endorsing financial aid for people who could influence the decision, the New York Times reported Saturday.

A detailed blueprint calling for hiring lobbyists and making payments to Olympic committee members around the world was given in December 1991 to the Salt Lake City's bid committee's board of business leaders, the Times said.

Subsequent minutes of the board's meetings and ledgers listing checks paid directly to members of the International Olympic Committee and their relatives "clearly show how the effort was carried out," the paper said.

The IOC announced in 1995 that Salt Lake City would be the site of the 2002 Winter Games.

But allegations that IOC members or people in their families received expensive gifts, medical care, scholarships and cash payments worth some $600,000 from the Salt Lake bid committee have led to a spate of resignations and threatened expulsions from the Olympics' governing body.

Investigations are now targeting Salt Lake's and other cities' winning and losing campaigns.

"The internal committee documents portray an aggressive program to use money to secure votes by a city determined not to fail again in its efforts to (win) the Olympics," the Times reported.

In 1991, Nagano, Japan, edged out Salt Lake City for the right to stage the 1998 Winter Games, and Utah dignitaries ascribed their loss to what they saw as the "free-spending efforts of the Japanese," according to the Times.

The paper said a budget summary presented to the Salt Lake City bid committee's board of trustees in December 1991 projected spending roughly $500,000 on aid to national Olympic committees and contracts with "key individuals" in three parts of the world.

"A key person is one who would influence an IOC member's vote," the document explained.

Records show that the bid panel openly paid the college tuition and living expenses of the son of one IOC member and covered furniture, rent and insurance for the stepdaughter of another, the Times said.

The paper said the spending blueprint and financial records had been made available "by a participant in the bid effort concerned that a fuller version of the story be made public."

Investigators are pursuing questions raised by the material about the bid panel's knowledge of questionable payments, it said.

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