AOC media official Tancred guilty of "disreputable conduct"

SYDNEY (AP) Australian Olympic Committee media and communications director Mike Tancred was found to have exhibited ''disreputable conduct'' in his dealings with a former executive, but an independent review panel has ruled that he was not guilty of bullying.

The AOC said in a statement Wednesday that the independent panel, comprising three senior judges, recommended Tancred be ''severely reprimanded for his conduct, which will form part of his employment record,'' for his dealings with former AOC chief executive Fiona de Jong.

In the lead-up to an election for AOC president on May 6 which IOC vice president John Coates easily won, de Jong said she had been bullied by Tancred while she was still employed there. Tancred, who denied the allegations, stood aside from his position pending the independent investigations.

The AOC, which said the panel's process for arriving at its decision was confidential, said Tancred's conduct ''does not rise to the level of `bullying' because it was not repetitive conduct against Ms. de Jong'' as required in a clause of the AOC's bylaws.

But it added: ''Mr. Tancred's conduct amounted to disreputable conduct ...''

The panel will continue investigations into separate complaints made against Tancred.

Coates' first test of his AOC presidency in nearly three decades turned out to be not much of a contest earlier this month. Coates will serve another term as AOC chief after easily beating Olympic field hockey gold medalist Danni Roche 58 to 35 in the election.

Coates is also the coordination commission chairman of the Tokyo 2020 Games, responsible for ensuring planning for the games is on schedule and on budget. He could have lost his IOC vice presidency and his Tokyo duties if he had been defeated by Roche.

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