In late 1998 and the early months of 1999, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) was an organisation in crisis. Revelations of a slush fund employed by Salt Lake City officials to secure votes from a number of IOC members in support of the city's bid for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games invited intense scrutiny of the organisation by the international media. The IOC and its president, Juan Antonio Samaranch, staggered through the opening weeks of the scandal, but ultimately Samaranch and key actors such as IOC Vice-President Richard Pound, Marketing Director Michael Payne, and Director General Francois Carrard weathered the storm, safeguarded the IOC's autonomy, and subsequently spearheaded the push for reforms to the Olympic Charter intended to better position the IOC for the twenty-first century.
In Tarnished Rings, the authors delve into this fascinating story, exploring the genesis of the scandal and charting the IOC's efforts to bring stability to its operations. Based on extensive research and unparalleled access to primary source material, the authors offer a behind-the-scenes account of the politics surrounding the IOC and the bidding process. Wenn, Barney, and Martyn's potent examination of this critical episode in Olympic history and of the presidency of Samaranch, who brought sweeping change to the Olympic Movement in the 1980s and 1990s, offers valuable lessons for those interested in the IOC, the Olympic Movement, and the broader concepts of leadership and crisis management.