Amid Turmoil, U.S.O.C Prez Quits

U.S. Olympic Committee president Marty Mankamyer, left, dicusses conflict of interest charges against CEO Lloyd Ward, right, during a news conference at a Denver hotel on Jan. 13, 2003. Mankamyer resigned as president of the U.S. Olympic Committee on Tuesday night, Feb. 4, 2003, succumbing to pressure from officials in the world's most powerful Olympic organization.
Marty Mankamyer, a part of the U.S. Olympic Committee almost since its inception, had learned to live with its squabbling, infighting and power struggles.

But she couldn't deal with being blamed for its troubles.

Mankamyer, 69, resigned as USOC president Tuesday night after colleagues accused her of further fracturing the world's most powerful Olympic organization by allegedly working behind the scenes to oust its chief executive.

She submitted her resignation via e-mail to members of the organization's executive committee. Mankamyer said she doesn't have the energy to continue with the job she took just 10 months ago.

"Because there appeared to be no possibility for peace unless I stepped aside, and with the thought that my action could make a positive difference for an organization to which I have devoted almost 20 years, I have decided to resign," Mankamyer said in a statement.

The USOC's executive committee had been expected to give Mankamyer, the organization's highest-ranking volunteer, a vote of no confidence at a meeting this weekend in Chicago. Seven committee members had already asked her to step down, saying she inflated ethics charges against chief executive Lloyd Ward in an effort to force him out.

Under USOC bylaws, vice president-secretariat William Martin will serve as interim president. The USOC's board of directors will vote on a permanent replacement after the executive committee makes a recommendation.

The board of directors is scheduled to meet in April, but no date has been set for a vote.

Ward was cleared last month of charges he helped his brother's company try to arrange a deal to supply power generators to the 2003 Pan American Games. At that time, Mankamyer agreed to step down but changed her mind when five USOC members resigned in protest of the Ward decision.

Mankamyer's resignation comes a week after a USOC officials were summoned to a Senate Commerce Committee hearing in Washington to discuss the future of the organization, which has been plagued by scandal in recent years.

Mankamyer is the second USOC president in 10 months to resign; the organization has had three CEOs since 2000. Mankamyer's predecessor, Sandy Baldwin, left her post after she admitted lying about her academic credentials.

Mankamyer will remain on the board of directors.

By John Marshall
By John Marshall