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Krakow Winter Olympics bid chief resigns after media sting

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 14.04.2014 10:39
The head of Krakow's bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics has resigned after covertly recorded material implicated her husband in an attempt to pay a media outlet for favourable press.

MP Jagna Marczulajtis-Walczak, who has resigned from her post as head of the Krakow Competition Committee 2022. Photo: PAP/Stanislaw Rozpedzik

Jagna Marczulajtis-Walczak, an MP in Prime Minister Tusk's Civic Platform party, insisted, however, that she had not known about her husband's conversations last week with the editor of local web site lovekrakow.pl.

“I am sorry about the situation, but it did not arise from any direct guilt on my behalf,” she claimed.

“For the sake of the Krakow 2022 Winter Olympics project, I have taken the decision to resign as chairman of the Krakow Competition Committee 2022,” she added.

Marczulajtis-Walczak, a former Olympic snowboarder, commented that she had been in Turkey for a conference when her husband held talks on the matter.

She added that her husband, Andrzej Walczak, was never a member of the committee, and so was not authorised to take part in any negotiations concerning the campaign.

Walczak was an acquaintance of the editor of independent web site lovekrakow.pl, and the two entered into a discussion about potential cooperation.

Editor Patryk Salamon covertly recorded his meetings with Walczak, during which Walczak initially offered to make Salamon an official member of the committee.

“Only you can't say that I'm on the committee and also working for the web site,” Salamon is recorded as saying.

However, Walczak insisted that “if there is a contract, if it is signed, everyone will know; the board, the accountants, the people working there.”

It is not clear what was clarified in the next phase of discussions, which involved committee member Rafal Dylag, who apparently gave Salamon a memory stick with information about the campaign bid.

Minister of Sport Andrzej Biernat has said that Jagna Marczulajtis-Walczak's resignation is the right decision.

“Such accusations concerning her husband do not favour the effective realisation of this project,” he said.

Mayor of Krakow Jacek Majchrowski has described Andrzej Walczak's behaviour as “strange” and it is understood that an entirely new committee will be created.

Meanwhile, Krakow is due to hold a referendum on 25 May on whether they support the city's candidacy.

At present, only four other potential city candidates remain: Oslo, Beijing, Almaty and Lviv.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will announce the winner in July 2015. (nh/pg)

Source: IAR

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