IOC ETHICS COMMISSION STATEMENT ON THE R. KEVAN GOSPER CASE
Lausanne, 15 May 2000 - By letter dated 28 January 2000, Mr R. Kevan Gosper, Member of the Ethics Commission, has asked the Ethics Commission to look into the facts and circumstances surrounding the visits he and his family made to Salt Lake City in 1993 and 1995.
A journalist, Mr Andrew Jennings, in an e-mail message dated 25 January 2000 and addressed to Mr Gosper, asked him whether the fact that Mrs Gosper and her children accepted accommodation offered by Mr Tom Welch (at that time a preeminent member of the Salt lake City bid) in an apartment in Deer Valley is true and if so, whether it is within the IOC bid rules. He also asked Mr Gosper to answer some questions regarding the trip Mr Gosper and his wife made to Salt Lake City in May 1995. Mr Jennings also asked some other questions of detail.
Answer by Mr Gosper
Mr Gosper has asked the Ethics Commission to look into the matter; he has also resigned from the Commission, so as to enable it to examine the question in total freedom. Mr Gosper gave the Commission a detailed file. Also, the IOC Counsel in the United States of America, the firm O’Melveny and Myers, sent the IOC an additional file on the question; said file was forwarded by the IOC to the Commission.
The Commission, at its meeting held on 6 March 2000, heard Mr Gosper. The Commission then debated in his absence. The Commission considered that the special nature of this case, concerning one of its own members who is also an IOC Vice-President, called for special verifications conducted in unquestionable conditions. It therefore decided to entrust the instruction of this file to a renowned independent expert based in the United States of America, in order to facilitate any contacts with the persons concerned in Salt Lake City. It also decided, as provided by its Rules of Procedure, to appoint a rapporteur from within the Commission. Mr Javier Pérez de Cuéllar accepted this task.
Mr Martin Lipton, of the New York law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen Katz, has been retained by the Commission to this effect. He was asked to :
1. examine the letter of 1st February 2000 from Mr R. Kevan Gosper and the e-mail sent by Mr Jennings, the documents provided by Mr R. Kevan Gosper and the archives of the IOC ad hoc Commission which dealt with the inappropriate conduct of certain IOC members in relation to Salt Lake City’s bid for the XIX Olympic Winter Games in 2002;
2. hear R. Kevan Gosper and all necessary witnesses, examine all documents, notably accounting documents relating to the facts, and generally carry out any necessary investigations to discover the truth;
3. establish the facts relating to this case;
4. inform the rapporteur of all the steps taken and the results thereof, and present a detailed report to the Ethics Commission as soon as possible.
Mr Lipton has conducted his enquiry with total independence and at his entire discretion. He has personally presented his report to the Ethics Commission at its 15 May 2000 meeting. His conclusions are the following :
- “Mr Kevan Gosper’s account of his and his wife’s 1995 visit to Salt Lake City is truthful.
- Mrs Judy Gosper’s account of her 1993 visit to Salt Lake City is truthful.
- There is documentary evidence that confirms the Gosper’s accounts of these visits.
- There is no basis on which to conclude that either Mr. Gosper or Mrs Gosper knowingly or negligently violated the IOC rules with respect to visits to bidding cities.
- Mr and Mrs Gosper took reasonable actions to avoid receiving services or gifts from the Salt Lake City bid officials that violated the IOC rules.
- To the extent that Mrs Gosper may have received any services or gifts that might have violated the IOC rules, it was as the result of deliberate concealment by Salt Lake City officials that what appeared to be normal minor expenses, customarily borne by a friend when hosting a visiting friend, were in fact reimbursed by the Salt Lake City bid committee.”
The Commission, after having heard the rapporteur, the independent expert and Mr Gosper, and having deliberated, has concluded that the actions of Mr R. Kevan Gosper or Mrs Gosper in relation with the Salt Lake City bid committee cannot be considered as being blameful. There is no basis to conclude that Mr Gosper and Mrs Gosper either knowingly or negligently violated IOC rules.
The Ethics Commission proposes to the IOC Executive Board to decide that there is no basis to conclude that Mr Gosper and Mrs Gosper either knowingly or negligently violated IOC rules and the actions of Mr R. Kevan Gosper or Mrs Gosper in relation with the Salt Lake City bid committee cannot be considered as being blameful .