IOC Member Resigns Over Olympic Mess

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The International Olympic Committee took its first major hit from the snowballing Salt Lake City Winter Olympic scandal on Tuesday. Finnish member Pirjo Haeggman voluntarily stepped down from the committee amidst growing speculation that her resignation could mark the beginning of a major avalanche of change at the IOC. Haeggman resigned following allegations that her ex-husband had briefly worked for the Salt Lake City bid committee and had obtained an Ontario government job thanks in part to the help of the Toronto bid committee for the 1996 summer games.

"We are going to be seeing more resignations," says TIME writer Joel Stein, "as the allegations get more serious." Haeggman, once a middle-distance running champion, is one of 13 IOC members whose name has come up in connection with the Salt Lake City scandal. "It's too late to reschedule the 2002 Winter Olympics away from Salt Lake City," says Stein. "So as punishment we can expect to see more resignations instead." But in order to regain its footing down the slippery bidding slope, the IOC needs to do much more. The organization knows it, which is why it is desperately racing to study recommendations for changes in its bidding procedures.