Australian IOC member defies calls for him to quit

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 02 August, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 02 August, 2008, 12:00am

The International Olympic Committee member at the centre of a row over internet censorship at the press centre and other venues declared defiantly yesterday that he would not resign.

Kevan Gosper, the IOC's press commission chairman responsible for ensuring international journalists could have free internet access, dismissed calls by Australian media to step down. 'I can assure you I would not consider resigning just because things got difficult,' said the former track athlete, who has been an IOC member for more than 30 years.

An editorial in The Sydney Morning Herald said: 'Out of respect for himself, Mr Gosper should quit, not just the commission but the IOC, which has left him looking like a forlorn dupe.'

Mr Gosper angrily criticised his fellow IOC members this week for failing to inform him of what appeared to be a deal allowing mainland authorities to censor the internet during the Games - a damaging U-turn on repeated promises to allow full media freedom.

Mr Gosper said he felt extremely satisfied with explanations as to why he was seemingly kept in the dark, after IOC president Jacques Rogge assured him 'there had not been a further shift in arrangements'.