Samaranch Feels Olympic Heat

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PARIS: The buck stops with Juan Antonio Samaranch. The International Olympic Committee president is answerable to no one, and that may make it hard for him to keep his job. "He's a part of the whole rotten system," says TIME Paris bureau chief Tom Sancton. "He may not have personally accepted bribes, but he either turned a blind eye or else failed to properly oversee Olympic decision-making."

Samaranch was fighting for his future Monday, even after the IOC suspended six members for corruption. "His credibility has been damaged to the extent that it will be questioned whether he can be relied on to reform a body that has malfunctioned so badly on his watch," says Sancton. Allegations of corruption in the decision to award the 2002 Winter Games to Salt Lake City have snowballed into a wide-ranging probe of recent IOC decisions. With billions of dollars at stake in the competition to host the games, the Olympic dictum that participating is more important than winning has long ceased to apply.