Some leaders in the Utah Legislature knew that Salt Lake City bidders used scholarships to help win the 2002 Winter Games more than a year before the Olympic bribery scandal broke.
In the fall of 1997, members of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee reportedly told Senate President Lane Beattie, Rep. Marty Stephens and then-House Speaker Mel Brown of the incentives given to International Olympic Committee members.
"Frank Joklik told us about scholarships," Beattie said yesterday of the SLOC president. "He said, 'Here's what I found out and I've cut them off.' "
Beattie said Republican leaders called the meeting to ask Joklik and SLOC Vice President Dave Johnson about rumors circulating about the bid committee's methods. This was a year before the public discovered that city bidders gave IOC members more than $1 million in cash, gifts, trips and scholarships in an effort to land the Games.
Beattie said Joklik emphatically denied that prostitutes had been hired to entertain visiting IOC members. And Johnson said there was no truth to the accusation that cash had been handed over to help pave the way for Salt Lake's bid, Beattie said.
But Joklik and Johnson did reveal some improprieties, at least one of them involving IOC chief Juan Antonio Samaranch.
"They told us about the gifts to Samaranch, the shotgun," Beattie said. "He just said, here are the things that we know about. I haven't heard one new thing in all of this that he didn't disclose to us at that time."
But Beattie said Joklik talked openly about the scholarship fund. It was later discovered that 13 people received nearly $400,000 in financial aid or scholarships from the committee--and six were relatives of IOC members.
Trinidad Moving Up
If Oscar De La Hoya wants another crack at Felix Trinidad, it will have to be as a super welterweight. Trinidad said yesterday that he plans to leave the welterweight division if he defeats WBA super welterweight (154-pound) champion David Reid on March 3 in Las Vegas. Trinidad wrested the WBC welterweight title from De La Hoya on Sept. 18.
Trinidad said he has nothing left to prove in the welterweight division after handing De La Hoya his only defeat. He added that he has trouble meeting the 147-pound weight limit and eventually might move up to the 160-pound middleweight class. Trinidad is 36-0 with 30 knockouts. . . . Naseem Hamed's WBO featherweight title defense against Junior Jones was called off because of a contract disagreement. Hamed's brother and business manager, Riath Hamed, said the March 11 fight was canceled because Jones had stalled on signing the contract.
IBF featherweight champion Paul Ingle and former WBO champion Steve Robinson now are possibilities to replace Jones in Hamed's 14th defense of the title he won by stopping Robinson in September 1995. . . .
Former five-time super middleweight world champion Vinny Pazienza was arrested early yesterday in Pawtucket, R.I., and charged with drunken driving, recklessly eluding police, resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer. He was arraigned and released on $5,000 personal recognizance. Pazienza's lawyer, James Burchfield, would not comment except to say Pazienza was not hurt. . . .
Shane Mosley made his Las Vegas debut a spectacular one. Showing the punching power of a welterweight with the speed of a lightweight, Mosley knocked Willy Wise down twice Saturday night, finally stopping him in the third round of their scheduled 10-round fight.
Milutinovic Wins Debut
Bora Milutinovic made his debut as coach of China's national soccer team, enjoying an 8-0 win over the Philippines in an Asian Cup qualifying game in Vietnam. Milutinovic resigned as coach of Major League Soccer's New York/New Jersey MetroStars in October. He is the third foreigner to coach China, which never has qualified for the World Cup. . . .
Rivaldo, expected to be honored as soccer's player of the year, scored in the 18th minute to send Barcelona past Racing de Santander, 1-0, and put his team in second place in the Spanish League. Barcelona has 37 points and maintained pressure on league leader Deportivo de La Coruna (40 points).
In Italy, Juventus remained in first in the Italian League with a 2-0 victory over Reggina. Darko Kovacevic and Zinedine Zidane, the 1998 FIFA player of the year, scored in each half. Juventus leads Lazio by three points.
In England, Leeds United moved four points ahead in the Premier League after a 2-1 win at Sunderland.