Surgeon Seeks to Sew Up IOC Rifts

Newly elected International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge was left Tuesday with no time to savor his triumph as he faced a daunting start to his eight-year term of office.

Controversy surrounding the campaign leading to Monday's election cracked open the fragile facade of IOC unity, posing the Belgian surgeon with problems that will immediately tax his considerable diplomatic skills.

Two of his defeated rivals, Dick Pound of Canada and Kim Un-yong of South Korea, two of the most powerful men in the Olympic movement, both cried foul and suggested their campaigns had been purposely undermined.

Pound, head of the IOC's successful marketing commission, accused outgoing president Juan Antonio Samaranch of secretly working for Rogge's election.

Samaranch appeared to rebuke Pound during Sunday's IOC session over the Canadian's role as head of the World Anti-Doping Agency, saying doping in sport was "a mess" and that Pound should urgently call a world conference.

Kim, who thought he had the election sewn up in his favor 24 hours before the vote, claimed he had been fatally undermined by a letter issued Sunday by the IOC ethics commission asking him about newspaper reports suggesting the Korean was offering illicit financial promises to members.

Kim, who denied the allegations, was so furious he declined to attend the vote. Pound has offered to resign all his posts within the IOC, and Rogge will need to use all his diplomatic skills to keep both influential men on his side.

Rogge cannot ignore the organizational difficulties facing the 2004 Athens Games, which were so disastrously behind schedule last year that the IOC hinted it might have to move them elsewhere.

With all that in mind, any long-term concerns over political or human rights issues connected to Beijing's staging of the 2008 Games may seem comfortably on the horizon.

China plans to launch a special lottery to help finance the 2008 Summer Olympics, an official said Tuesday.

An official of the China Sports Lottery Administration said that 35 percent of the one billion yuan ($121 million) the lottery would bring in each year — a total of some $340 million — would go to the Olympics.

The Beijing government has announced plans to spend some $22 billion on preparations for the Games, including improved city transport links as well as the venues.

The Beijing Bid Committee headquarters has been bombarded with donations since the Chinese capital threw an impromptu carnival Friday night after the International Olympic Committee voted the 2008 Games to Beijing.

"The offers range from just 100 yuan by schoolchildren to more than 10,000 yuan from adults," said a telephone operator at the bid committee office.