Some Olympic Volunteers Rejected

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Salt Lake City, UT, Oct. 23, 2001 (AP) -- About 300 people who signed up to volunteer or work for the Winter Olympics have been rejected during criminal background checks.

Utah's Bureau of Criminal Identification says about 3 percent of all Olympic applicants are failing background checks, so thousands more could be turned away.

The rejection rate is roughly the same as for those applying for state permits to carry concealed weapons, according to former State Public Safety Commission Craig Dearden.

The Salt Lake Organizing Committee is paying $10 for background checks that could total $1 million, making for the Bureau of Criminal Identification's largest contract.

The FBI is independently screening some Olympic workers. SLOC president Mitt Romney and his chief operating officer, Fraser Bullock, are undergoing background checks after applying for national security clearance.

The checks are necessary to ensure the protection of dignitaries, athletes and spectators, Romney said Friday.

The Bureau of Criminal Identification searches state and national criminal databanks and also looks for outstanding arrest warrants.

Drug- and alcohol-related convictions have accounted for the most rejections so far, said Nannette Rolfe, director of the Bureau of Criminal Identification.

Other offenses that can bring rejection include convictions for assault, sex offenses, gambling, child abuse, robbery or weapons convictions, Rolfe said.