A U.S. Olympic Committee official yesterday made a formal request for a second vote of the USOC's executive committee on whether the organization's CEO Lloyd Ward should be allowed to keep his job.
In a written request to USOC acting president Bill Martin, executive committee member Herb Perez asked that the "termination" of Ward be placed on the next executive committee agenda. The committee is expected to convene again in a few weeks.
Ward said yesterday he would not resign unless he was convinced he had lost the support of the 19-member executive committee or 123-member board of directors. The board of directors next meets in mid-April in Fort Worth.
"I'm focusing on my job, on sports performances and on athletes," Ward said in a telephone interview. "I'm going to leave all of these matters up to other people. . . . I will serve as long as those I serve see value in my leadership."
Though the executive committee gave Ward a resounding vote of confidence during a meeting just over two weeks ago in Chicago, recent press reports concerning the expenses of Ward and his staff have caused reconsideration among some top USOC officials, according to a source.
The source said three of the organization's highest-ranking officials -- Martin and vice presidents Bill Stapleton and Paul George -- raised questions about Ward's ability to lead given the continued negative publicity during an emergency executive committee meeting Tuesday night.
Martin declined through a spokesman to talk about the meeting yesterday.
According to a source, Perez made a motion to dismiss Ward during the meeting, but the motion was shot down because proper notice of the meeting had not been given.
Ward, however, still has support from at least some USOC executive committee members.
"He is doing his job," executive committee member Anita DeFrantz said, "and we need someone doing this job, working for the athletes."
Senators Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) and Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colo.) will begin a series of private meetings with USOC staff members in Colorado Springs Thursday night to discuss the state of the organization.
The USOC has been the subject of two congressional hearings in the past two months because of its leadership turmoil.
The Colorado Springs Gazette reported Tuesday that Ward and his wife, Lita, totaled $155,664 in USOC travel costs in 2002.