Australian Olympic staffer steps down pending investigation

SYDNEY (AP) The Australian Olympic Committee's media director has stood down pending an investigation into allegations of bullying that have surfaced during an acrimonious contest for the organization's presidency.

Longtime media and communications director Mike Tancred has denied the allegations made by former AOC chief executive Fiona de Jong but said Wednesday he would step down until the matter has been resolved.

His decision was announced hours before the AOC executive board held an extraordinary meeting to discuss recent issues, including the vote for president.

John Coates, an IOC vice president, is being challenged for the role by 1996 Olympic field hockey gold medalist Danni Roche. The vote will be held May 6.

It is the first time in 27 years that Coates has faced a leadership challenge.

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