Lloyd Ward: Victim or Villain?

In an exclusive interview, the former U.S. Olympic Committee CEO tells his side about what led to his ouster. Was it a nasty campaign to discredit him, or did his unpopular business practices and management style derail his career?

report from the Fielding investigation concluded that the initial solicitation letter that Ward received from EMT was indeed dealt with in an up-front manner. Rodgers also conferred with USOC General Counsel Jeff Benz regarding the EMT proposal. Again, they concluded that there was “no apparent problem” with what Ward had done. In addition, it was confirmed that Mankamyer was one of
the causes of leaked information to the press. Many felt that this demonstrated her bias against Ward.

ENTER THE SENATE
Following the decision, Rodgers, ethics committee members John Kuelbs, Edward Petry, and Steve Potts, as well as USOC executive committee member Brian Derwin, all resigned. They felt that the judgment concerning Ward was too lenient. Mankamyer decided not to resign. The mass defection made the USOC front-page national news again, which did not sit well with Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska (he spearheaded the legislation that chartered the USOC more than 25 years ago). Senate committee hearings were scheduled to deal with the causes of the incessant infighting that had been plaguing the USOC for years. Republican Sen. John McCain headed the Senate panel that would hear testimony concerning the allegations leveled against Ward and other issues related to the governance and operation of the USOC.

The Senate hearings were held on Jan. 28, 2003, but even before the hearings were underway, some form of government intervention to change the USOC governance structure was assured. Testimony from Duberstein detailed the events that allowed the ethics investigation process to be corrupted by executive committee members.

The Ethics Oversight Committee reviewed Fielding’s oral and written report on Dec. 23, 2002. Duberstein indicated that this report was pivotal to clearing Ward of serious ethics allegations. Duberstein testified, “In addition to the review of Mr. Ward’s conduct, the Ethics Oversight Committee now had to deal with the findings based on Mr. Fielding’s oral and written report and their own experience during the review, that two individuals, Ethics Compliance Officer Patrick K. Rodgers and USOC President Marty Mankamyer, tried to use the ethics process to advance their own agenda.”

The admission that “… [Duberstein] and members of the executive committee had received reports that [Mankamyer] was discussing the [ethics] review and the initial allegations with individuals outside of the Ethics Oversight Committee,” and “… the failure of Mr. Rodgers to do timely compliance counseling of Mr. Ward, which could have helped avoid all this,” supported Ward’s claim that he made “an error in judgment” by not disclosing his brother’s involvement when he filed the Annual Disclosure Certification.

Mankamyer attempted to defend herself against the charge that she willingly leaked information by suggesting that the USOC policy that called for broad distribution of information to the 123-member board of directors increased the likelihood that leaks would occur. When the Senate hearings ended, Mankamyer also ended her presidency. She resigned on Feb. 4, 2003.

MOVING ON
Even though he was mostly cleared of any wrongdoing, Ward continued to receive pressure from the press to resign. Initially, Ward resisted the idea. But his vindication by

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