He Zhenliang, China's senior delegate on the International Olympic Committee, accused Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) of meddling in Olympic affairs to advance his White House ambitions.
"He knows nothing about Olympic Games," the official said of McCain. "He used this for his own political purpose. This is political interference. Let the IOC deal with our own affairs."
As the IOC's new reform commission wrapped up its first round of meetings in Lausanne, Switzerland, with moves toward democratic change, a backlash against U.S. politicians came to the fore.
McCain, a presidential contender, has been harshly critical of the IOC for its role in the vote-buying scheme stemming from Salt Lake's successful bid for the 2002 Winter Games. He chaired Senate hearings into the scandal in April.
The House Commerce Committee, meanwhile, is investigating Atlanta's winning bid for the 1996 Summer Games, while pressuring the White House to place the IOC under international anti-bribery laws.
And Congress has threatened to enact legislation that would cripple the IOC financially unless significant reforms are enacted.
Meanwhile, also in Lausanne, Australian IOC member Phil Coles testified for a third time before Olympic investigators.
Coles, who has resisted pressure to resign in the scandal, said he was convinced he'd proven his innocence to the special panel investigating charges of ethical misconduct.
IOC vice presidents Anita DeFrantz and Keba M'baye, and executive committee member Marc Hodler will present their recommendations on Coles to the executive board at its next meeting June 14 in Seoul.
The panel could recommend that the case be dropped or that Coles be expelled. Any expulsion would have to go to the full IOC assembly for approval.
Also Wednesday, Atlanta Olympic organizers released details of how they spent their money to win the 1996 Summer Games.
While many of the inducements appeared to violate IOC rules, organizers said they were not in the same league as the $1.2-million scheme in Salt Lake City that led to the biggest scandal in Olympic history. Excess gifts and questionable donations totaled less than $94,000.
The heavyweight fight picture grew more clouded amid talk of a George Foreman-Mike Tyson fight and new trouble in arranging the title rematch between Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis.
A Foreman advisor said he was trying to put together a Foreman-Tyson fight for December. Meanwhile, the rematch of the controversial fight between Holyfield and Lewis was in jeopardy despite promoter Don King's announcement last week that the fight would be held in November at Las Vegas. A source close to the negotiations said the main issue to be resolved is HBO's insistence that King step aside as the fight promoter if he were to be indicted on charges stemming from a number of ongoing investigations into boxing.
ABC, borrowing a page from ESPN, will use a computer-generated yellow line on its "Monday Night Football" broadcasts to denote where a team must move the ball to get a first down. . . . Kicker Eddie Murray, 42, signed with the Detroit Lions and then retired as a member of his original NFL team. . . . Dan Turk, one half of the NFL's only brother-to-brother, long snapper-punter combo, signed a new deal with the Washington Redskins. Turk has been snapping to his brother Matt for two years with the Redskins. . . . Tackle Andy Heck was released by the Chicago Bears. . . . Free-agent running back Rashaan Salaam signed with the Oakland Raiders.
Former Florida linebacker Johnny Rutledge said he received $500 a month from agent William "Tank" Black in exchange for a promise to sign with his agency after his collegiate career.
Jack Nicklaus, who sat out the Masters for the first time in 40 years because of hip replacement surgery, will skip the British Open for the second year in a row so as not to jeopardize his recovery.
Retired superstars Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky and John Elway will join Fred Couples in an 18-hole golf match, Golfweek magazine reported on its Web site.
The program, tentatively titled "Legends at Play," will feature the three retirees from the NBA, NHL and NFL, respectively, playing a best-ball format against Couples at Shadow Hawk Golf Club in Houston.
The contest will be taped around Thanksgiving and will air on Christmas Day. All prize money will go to charity.
Ireland barred Yugoslavia's soccer team from entering the country and criticized European soccer chiefs for refusing to cancel Saturday's game in Dublin.
Ireland team Manager Mick McCarthy and the Football Assn. of Ireland supported the government's decision to withhold entry visas, even though this could jeopardize the Irish team's chances of qualifying for the 2000 European Championship. The Group 8 qualifier would have been the first international match for Yugoslavia since NATO launched its air campaign March 24.