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Bribery and Scandals - Essay Example

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Bribery has always been seen as an unethical practice and no one in their right moral sense would endorse it. But bribery like abortion is a very complex subject and a clear line between what's right and wrong may not even exist. Hence to identify when bribery is actually unethical and when it is not, we need to define bribery properly…
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Bribery and Scandals
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Bribery and Scandals

This is because when bribery is used as a mean, it gives one part unfair advantage over the other and hence kills the spirit and the very meaning of unfair play.
Salt Lake City won the bid for hosting Winter Olympics 2002 and this meant commercial business worth $2.8 billion. The City had already once lost the bid to Nagano and was simply not willing to take no for an answer when bidding began in 1995. The decision had definitely created huge excited and enthusiasm and every thing looked good till an ugly bribery scandal was unearthed in 1998 and 1999. "The actions of Salt Lake bid committee members were a reaction to the 1991 loss to Nagano. Salt Lake bid officials believed their bid was technically superior to other cities in the competition, but they felt the city lost because Nagano bid officials had done more to appeal to individual IOC members. The Japanese bid was believed to have won support among IOC members when, for example, a substantial contribution was made by a Japanese business to the Olympic museum in Switzerland, a pet project of IOC President Samaranch." (Burbank)
Someone this gave the Salt City officials the idea that in order to win the bid, it was best to have personal close relationships with members of the International Organizing Committee. And this idea gave birth to a series of bribes made to a number of major officials in the shape of extensive gifts, scholarships and vacations. They were even provided with "special" favors and comforts during their hotel stay.

"In January, when the scandal broke, it looked like SLOC had paid off 13 of the 114 IOC members with $393,000, mostly in "scholarships and stipends" for family members. By the end of the month, the figure had risen to $800,000, with real cash bribes, and U.S. Olympic Committee member Alfredo La Mont had resigned amid allegations he took "consulting" fees to clue SLOC in on which IOC people were buyable. By early February, we were at $1.3 million for 24 members-a fifth of the IOC." (Mintz)

It was an ugly episode in the history of Salt City and came to light when in November 1998, one television reporter got hold of a letter that was written by SLOC to the daughter of one of the IOC officials stating that her tuition assistance was being cancelled. This opened a Pandora box but initially the repercussions were quite muted.

It was after the publication of a report by the ethics committee, that two main persons at the center of the scandal resigned and Governor Leavitt commented on the issue:
"It must be made absolutely clear that the actions of a few do not reflect the values, moral expectations, or standards of behavior of this community and state. We deplore it, and revolt at being associated with them . The Olympics have been a shining light, but there is a sinister and dark corner of corruption. This culture of corruption has taken root because of a lack of accountability . This corner of Olympic corruption did not begin in Salt Lake City. But let it end here". (Leavitt 1999)

The statement issued by the Governor showed that while he resented the actions, he did not blame his people for starting it. He gave the impression that it has been an on going practice. Whether he was right or not requires further investigation. We can only say that all in all, Salt Lake City scandal was indeed a scandal of bribery. The expensive gifts given to ... Read More
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