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‘2014 Olympic candidates resort to bribes ahead of vote’


Guatemala : The choice of the 2014 Winter Olympics host city has been overshadowed by accusations of corruption in the bidding process at the opening of the 119th plenary session of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) here.

Norwegian Gerhard Heiberg, on the IOC executive committee, said Tuesday campaigners to secure the Winter Games in 2014 have resorted to some questionable tactics in trying to win the games.

"We have seen some things that shouldn't happen," Heiberg said on Norwegian television NRK. "They use some methods that involve invitations and gifts."

Heiberg, who was in charge of the 1994 Winter Olympics at Lillehammer, did not name any of the candidates ahead of Wednesday's 2300 GMT announcement of the official host city by IOC president Jacques Rogge.

He suggested that Olympic candidates push a bit too hard in their bid to secure themselves as host city.

The candidates for the 2014 Winter Olympics include Sochi in Russia, Salzburg in Austria and Pyeongchang in South Korea. Lending their support for their country's bids here were Russian President Vladimir Putin, Austrian Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer and South Korean President Roh Moo Hyun.

After Putin invited IOC members to a nearby villa, the IOC ethics commission had to remind him of the rule that it was only permitted to meet them at the official IOC hotel.