Sydney Pay Raises
SYDNEY, Australia (AP) -- Reports of massive pay hikes for Australian Olympic Committee chiefs have emerged just a week after one of its senior members was caught up in a nepotism controversy.
International Olympic Committee vice president Kevan Gosper was reportedly reprimanded by IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch this week for allowing his daughter to replace another girl as the first Australian to run with the Olympic torch.
The substitution provoked public outrage after last week's flame-lighting ceremony in Greece.
With that criticism still fresh, AOC documents released Thursday showed Gosper was one of the AOC officials who had received a significant increase. But his increase was moderate compared with others.
AOC chairman John Coates' package increased by almost $57,000 over two years, the Australian Associated Press reported.
Including consultancy fees and expenses, his annual package increased from $146,000 in 1997 to $199,500 last year.
The AOC financial statements indicated some packages had increased 30-60 percent in the two years leading up to the end of 1999.
AOC secretary-general Craig McLatchey told AAP that the increases were recommended by a remuneration committee following independent advice, and had been confirmed by the AOC board. Executives did not vote on their own salary increases, he said.
McLatchey, whose annual salary package increased by $40,000 to $162,000 over two years, said that was in line with market rates.
Phil Coles, who quit the organizing committee of the Sydney 2000 Games after being severely censured by the IOC for accepting excessive hospitality from the Salt Lake City 2002 Olympics bid team, earned a pay rise from the AOC last year.
As the AOC's international relations directors, his remuneration has increased by almost $51,300 in 1999. Coles attended only one of five AOC executive board meetings last year, but earned $118,500, AAP reported.
Gosper, who is also a SOCOG board member, receives no salary or consultant's fee as an AOC executive member, but his other benefits jumped from $467 to $12,500 over two years.
Gosper was cleared by an IOC ethics committee Monday of allegations that he accepted excessive hospitality from Salt Lake boosters.
The allegations related to a trip he took with his wife and two children to Utah in 1993.