Marc Hodler

Whistleblower - 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics

The Facts - Marc Hodler's Role

Marc Hodler was the first whistleblower to point out the bribery scandal of the 2002 olympic games. Hodler, a senior International Olympic Committee (IOC) from Switzerland, launched and investigative report on the conclusion that Salt LAke City, Utah had bribed the IOC with money, personal benefits, and even prostitution. Marc Hodler constructed a new set of rules concerning the rumors of the bribery to limiting the gift value to IOC members to $200. Even with these new sets of rules, rumors continued, "with reports of bidding cities showering IOC members with lavish gifts, entertainment and trips, and there were suggestions that the IOC, under its president Juan Antonio Samaranch, was deliberately turning a blind eye."


Jean-Claude Ganga, an IOC member from the Congo Republic and a fellow recipient of the cash bribes confirmed that indeed she had received $70k, as well as free medical care and a favorable position in a Utah real estate deal. The corruption is revealed when Ganga admits to these types of bribes as "normal."

Hodler v. Samaranch

~Hodler exposed facts that were unavoidable. He had exposed Samaranch's contribution to the bribery scandal in accepting gifts and money as bribery for the IOC vote.

  • Hodler began with, "There has always been a certain part of the vote given to corruption"-for this, the following cities associated with his claim:
  1. Atlanta, GA
  2. Salt Lake City, UT
  3. Sydney, Australia (host of the 2002 Summer Olympics)
  4. Nagano (host of the 1998 Winter Olympics)

~Hodler believed that based on his claim and research that an estimate of between 5%-7% of the 115 IOC members were open to the gifts of bribery.

Samaranch's response: He distanced himself from Hodler and instructed Hodler to hakt further interviews to the press. Hodler responded with, "Perhaps I'll be thrown out" - Hodler took the nonchalant approach

  • This dispute led to confirmation that indeed the IOC was concerned with certain agents and promised an internal investigation, thus resulting in Samaranch backtracking
  • Samaranch admitted to receiving hefty bribes from Salt Lake City, but refuted with the concept that it was only illegal if performed by voting members; he was president, therefore he could not vote and was indeed legal.

*This sort of dispute is one of many that Hodler dealt with in exposing the truths about the 2002 bribery scandal.

Salt Lake City 2002 Olympic Bid Bribery Scandal (CBC)

In Reality...

Briberies, similar to the 2002 Olympic bid bribery, have occurred before. The difference with this bribery scandal is that the whistleblowers (Hodler being one of them) had concrete facts for evidence. This event merely led to the expulsion of such events into becoming a major international conflict with angering foreign nations. Such nations include Canada, a country who had bid against Salt Lake City for the IOC vote.

  • Canada demanded that they be refunded for their money on the bid, but such thing did not occur.
  • Sion, a picturesque scene for the winter olympics, also lost to Salt Lake City, thus infuriating the Swedish (Hodler being a "cheerleader" for this city in favor of the winter games)


~10 delegates/leaders involved with the Salt Lake City bribery scandal have been forced to resign, whether that be by their peers or morals. Such members include the IOC and the Salt Lake City governing body:

  • Frank Joklik, president of the Salt Lake City Organizing Committee (SLOC) resigned (willingly) after acknowledging cash bribes to the IOC for the 1995 Olympic vote.
  • Salt Lake City Mayor Deedee Corradini (unexpectedly) did not seek reelection in 2002 as a result of the bribery scandal. Though she denies that she had anything to do with the scandal, the Salt Lake City council members investigated and requested for her resignation anyway.
  • Senior Vice President Dave Johnson resigned as well. Along with his resignation, a $10k-a-month consulting contract with former president Tom Welch ended by SLOC

Salt Lake City, despite the bribery scandal and conflicts, pulled through to become the location of the 2002 Winter Olympics.

  • At the time that Hodler blew the whistle on the bribery scandal, SLOC had already raised approximately 75% of the money needed to run the 2002 Winter Olympics, thus maintaining their vote from IOC for the winter olympics
  • HOWEVER, companies (such as Coca-Cola) that sponsored the SLOC for their olympics started to withdraw money amounts as they were concerned over the idea of sponsoring a city that cheated/bribed the IOC. Some companies even backed out of sponsoring the 2002 Winter Olympic Games.

Marc Hodler - Through the years until the End

  • Marc Hodler ran a very successful career as a lawyer and ran his own firm.
  • He was appointed to the IOC in 1963, serving four terms on executive board
  • 1993-1997, Hodler was vice-president of the IOC
  • 1998-2002 he was chairman of the IOC's finance commission
  • from 1952-1988, Hodler was the president of the Swiss Bridge Federation; Hodler was indeed a very keen bridge player
  • Marc Hodler had a wife, Anna Rosa, and two sons
  • Hodler died had age 87 on October 18, 2006 from a stroke

My Reaction

The 2002 Winter Olympics bribery scandal comes at no surprise to me. Am I disappointed that our country, the United States of America, bribed the IOC for their votes for both Salt Lake City AND Atlanta? Yes. Simply because I am like to believe that the US is perfect and could never commit such fraud; I am a very optimistic person under the influence of the ethnocentric idea that many Americans are under as well.