USOC chief Ward survives ouster effort

Olympics

February 26, 2003|By THE NEW YORK TIMES

NEW YORK - Lloyd Ward, the embattled chief executive of the U.S. Olympic Committee, escaped an effort last night to oust him during a 90-minute conference call held by the organization's executive committee.

According to a person involved in the session, a motion to dismiss Ward was raised by Herb Perez, a member of the executive committee, but was quashed because the call was not deemed an official meeting.

Nonetheless, the person said, Ward's grip on his position appeared tenuous.

Perez said that Ward, who was found in January to have broken the USOC's ethics code, has "outlasted his usefulness," the person involved in the call said.

Ward has been facing eroding support since the executive committee on Jan. 13 accepted an ethics panel's finding that he created the "appearance of a conflict of interest" by directing a staff member to advance a business proposal made by his brother and a friend to provide backup power for the Pan American Games in August.

And yesterday, Ward found himself in another controversy. The Gazette of Colorado Springs, Colo., detailed the $115,464 in travel costs that he and his wife, Lita, billed to the USOC in 2002.

Among the expenses the Wards billed to the Olympic committee, the newspaper reported, were those for trips to Atlantic City, N.J., to the Evander Holyfield-Chris Byrd heavyweight fight and to New York for last year's U.S. Open tennis championships.

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