Judge Named to IOC Ethics Panel

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Lausanne, Switzerland Apr. 18 (AP)--Ninian Stephen, a former High Court justice and governor-general of Australia, was appointed Tuesday as a member of the International Olympic Committee's ethics commission.

Stephen fills the seat vacated by fellow Australian Kevan Gosper, an IOC vice president who resigned from the ethics panel last month amid accusations he accepted excessive hospitality from Salt Lake City bidders.

The ethics panel was created last year to enforce a code of conduct for IOC members following the bribery scandal centering on Salt Lake's winning bid for the 2002 Winter Games.

Stephen becomes the fifth non-IOC member on the eight-man commission.

The other outside members are former French Justice Minister Robert Badinter, former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker, former U.N. Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar and former Swiss President Kurt Furgler.

The three IOC members on the panel are chairman Keba Mbaye of Senegal, Chiharu Igaya of Japan and former Canadian runner Charmaine Crooks.

Gosper remains under investigation by the ethics panel for a ski trip his wife and two children made to Utah in 1993 at the invitation of bid chief Tom Welch.

Gosper, who maintains he did nothing wrong, referred his case to the panel in late January.

According to Salt Lake records, bidders filed expenses of about $11,000 for the Gospers' trip.

Gosper has accused the bid committee of fraudulently inflating the costs. He said he insisted on paying for the trip and that he reimbursed Salt Lake for the expenses. He is believed to have produced bank records proving he paid for the trip.

Gosper resigned from the ethics panel March 6.

The panel appointed an independent investigator _ who has not been identified _ to deal with Gosper's case and report to the panel.

The panel is to issue its findings May 15.

Copyright © 2000 The Associated Press