LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) _ The IOC will investigate Australian member Phil Coles regarding $6,300 in jewelry he and his former wife received from a businessman connected with Athens' failed bid for the 1996 Games.

The International Olympic Committee's executive board said it was taking over the ethics investigation from a panel that produced six expulsions. That takes the investigation out of the control of Dick Pound, a vice president and chairman of the panel and a longtime friend of Coles.

The board heard from Coles today hours after it received a fax from his ex-wife, Georgina, confirming the gold-and-diamond necklace and cufflinks described in news reports the last week had been received on an inspection trip to Greece in 1990.

``As a result of the fact that a communication has been received from a third party, the executive board decided to investigate the matter further,'' an IOC statement said.

Coles said he ``appreciated the opportunity to explain the situation to the executive board.''

He said he would remain on leave from the board of the organizing committee for next year's Summer Games in Sydney ``until the matter is resolved.''


PM-OLY--IOC Bribes-Coles, 4th Ld-1st Add,0247


LAUSANNE, Switzerland: is resolved.''

Coles has repeatedly denied wrongdoing, and repeated today that he would not resign.

The jewelry is at the heart of the latest accusations that Coles repeatedly violated rules limiting gifts from bid cities to $150.

Georgina Coles sent a fax to IOC director general Francois Carrard and Pound, saying the jewelry was given to her and her then-husband during a visit to the Greek capital in 1990 by a ``man associated with the Athens bid.''

Athens lost the '96 race to Atlanta in September 1990.

In the fax, received at IOC headquarters early today from Australia, Georgina Coles said she had the cufflinks turned into earrings. A photo in today's Sydney Morning Herald showed her wearing what the paper said were those earrings.

She told the two IOC officials this would be her final comment on the matter.

Pound, who led the IOC's internal investigation that expelled six members in the Salt Lake bribery scandal, said before the board meeting that he had not seen the fax and could not comment. He said Thursday he would wait for Georgina Coles to provide information before deciding weather to investigate.

``No, absolutely not,'' he said when asked if he planned to step down from the IOC.

But in Sydney, Olympics boss Michael Knight called on Coles to ``stop the pain'' by quitting the board of SOCOG, the organizing committee for the 2000 Games.