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Salt Lake Official Duped by Delegate

NEWSWIRE

January 23, 2001|BILL SHAIKIN

Former Olympic bid executive Dave Johnson admits that he was hoodwinked into wiring $1,000 a month to the nonexistent daughter of an IOC delegate, who kept the money for himself, Johnson's lawyer said Monday in Salt Lake City.

Max Wheeler, the lawyer, provided the first full explanation for a confidential document that shows a consultant recommended adding Zema Gadir to the Salt Lake gravy train.

Gadir, who received $7,000 in payments to a London bank account, supposedly was a daughter of Gen. Zein Gadir of Sudan.

Muttaleb Ahmad, one of Salt Lake's Olympic bid consultants, wrote to Johnson in October 1994: "On a personal level: [Gadir] has a daughter in UK. Help may be extended. He expects $1,000 only a month to Zema Gadir."

Ahmed then provided a bank account number for Zema Gadir.

But there is no Zema Gadir, which Johnson didn't know until years after the payments had stopped, his lawyer said. It wasn't until the Olympic scandal broke and Zein Gadir admitted to the International Olympic Committee that Zema was a pseudonym for himself that Johnson realized he had been duped.

Johnson and his former bid boss, Tom Welch, were indicted last summer by a federal grand jury on 15 counts of conspiracy, fraud and bribery. Their trial is set for June.

Baseball

Will Clark said thanks but no thanks when the Angels offered him the chance to replace injured first baseman Mo Vaughn.

Clark, 36, hit .315 with 21 home runs last season, split between the Baltimore Orioles and St. Louis Cardinals. The six-time all-star announced his retirement in November.

Angel Manager Mike Scioscia called Clark last week, after the Angels learned that Vaughn would sit out most and perhaps all of the 2001 season because of arm surgery. Clark had no interest in rescinding his retirement, Angel General Manager Bill Stoneman said.

"If Will Clark wanted to un-retire, that would have resolved this thing in a hurry for us," Stoneman said.

Stoneman has spoken twice to Wally Joyner's agent and also is believed to have talked with representatives of free agents Hal Morris, Henry Rodriguez and Mike Stanley. Stoneman did not rule out pursuing a trade or doing nothing, but suggested he would sign a free agent this week to compete with Scott Spiezio and rookie Larry Barnes during spring training.

"My guess is, we'll probably move ahead and bring somebody else in," Stoneman said.

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