SYDNEY OLYMPIC GAMES 2000

Phil Coles
Australia Crest

International Olympic Committee member and kayaking Olympian at Rome in 1960.

On 10th February he was forced to stand down from his Games organising duties after he was named in the Salt Lake City bidding scandal.

Earlier he had politicised the Games by saying it would be preferable to the Olympic movement if the Carr Government won the State election in March '99.

Early March '99 he faced the music in Switzerland when he confronted an IOC inquiry into supposed vote buying corruption. The inquiry was led by his old mate from 1960, ex-Canadian Olympian Dick Pound. They had dinner together after question time.

On 12th March, 1999, Phil Coles reigned from his $140,000 per annum job with the Australian Olympic Committee for health reasons. This announcement came only hours before he was severely censured by the I.O.C. over excessive hospitality re the Salt Lake City bid for the 2002 Winter Games.

Coles said "While I never intended to do anything that would harm the Olympic movement, with hindsight I should have been more circumspect in my actions. I've been careless."

He remains on the board of the A.O.C. and keeps his jobs with the I.O.C. and S.O.C.O.G.

Coles still faces an inquiry over allegations he received diamond and gold jewellery from a wealthy Athens businessman, a supporter of the 1996 Athens bid. When will it all end, he must be thinking!

Phil believes he is beleaguered by a conspiracy of Melbourne businessmen for not backing their bid for the 1996 Games.

Phil Coles heads the committee overseeing Sydney's Torch Relay preparations. Stop press - this post was taken from him on the day before Good Friday ie. April Fools' Day.

Easter Sunday, 1999, and it is announced that Phil will carry the Olympic Torch over 1 kilometre on Bondi Beach, perhaps the most prominent leg of the relay.

Should we invite Christopher Skase to open the Games?

John Coates finally cut him loose early May '99.

Oh dear! Trouble at mill again. Phil and girlfriend Patricia Rosenbrock in trouble for supposedly passing documents to Salt Lake City. The documents contain derogatory terms about IOC members and were used to curry favour with the members during the bid process.

On May 10th, 1999, Kevan Gosper strongly advised Phil to stand down from his SOCOG position. Is it the rats deserting the sinking ship?

Mr. Coles, who has an Order of Australia medal, lives in Bronte.


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