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Coles absent From Sydney Meeting

February 10, 1999

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) _ IOC member Phil Coles stayed away from a special meeting of Sydney Games organizers Wednesday as news broke in Australia that he was linked to the Salt Lake City bribes scandal.

Coles had been scheduled to attend an extraordinary meeting of SOCOG called to decide whether bid documents should be made public.

But according to SOCOG board member and Sydney Lord Mayor Frank Sartor, Coles failed to attend. No reason was given for his absence.

Coles was named in a report that detailed the extreme and unethical means Salt Lake City used to land votes for the Olympic Winter Games.

The report named Coles and Willi Kaltschmitt of Guatemala, with their families, as making four visits together to the United States, in one instance attending the Super Bowl in Miami, which cost the bid committee $19,991.

Sartor said the report was discussed at Wednesday’s SOCOG meeting, but only in terms of news reports. The board had not received a copy of the Salt Lake report.

Asked if Coles was expected to resign from the SOCOG board, Sartor said: ``I think you’re barking up the wrong tree, I don’t expect that.″

He said Coles being implicated in the Salt Lake City scandal could cause some short-term problems, but there would be no long-term damage caused by the allegations.

Sartor, a member of Sydney’s bid team, maintained that Sydney’s ``was an ethical bid and a clean bid.″

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