The Cyprus Olympic Committee (KOE) on Friday said claims made during the house ethics committee by its members wasting finances were unfounded.

At the meeting, Auditor-General Odysseas Michaelides said that KOE is not audited by his office due to the legislative framework it falls into. However, he added that it had recently received complaints regarding Cyprus’ participation in the Games of the Small States of Europe (GSSE) in May, as the total cost of the Cypriot mission was much bigger than for previous events.

Specifically, he said that in addition to the 187 athletes, another 100 people also travelled, including many media representatives, with all expenses paid using funds provided by the foreign ministry.

An additional complaint was that the KOE president stayed in a more expensive hotel than the accredited members of the mission.

In KOE’s response, submitted to the committee by the education ministry at the MPs’ request, it emerged that those who travelled to Malta with all expenses paid were KOE’s legal advisor and his wife, 19 media representatives, seven of whom had their food and board covered by CyBC, representatives of the sponsors Opap and Deloitte, as well numerous coaches, and assistants.

In their comment on Friday, KOE said: “Unfortunately, the said members of the Executive Council, for personal reasons, are contractually spreading untrue, inaccurate, and unfounded claims, creating obstacles to the proper functioning of the Cyprus Olympic Committee, to the detriment of the athletes, the Federations and Cypriot sports in general.”

The committee said that they are already collecting all the evidence to present to the house ethics committee, during its next session, which is scheduled for November 1.

KOE clarified that the legal advisor’s wife had her expenses paid buy her husband, as had been claimed in a letter to Education ministry, and by the legal counsel.

“Unfortunately, the three members of the Cyprus Olympic Committee who attended the session of the said committee, while they knew the reality, did not take any action at all to restore the truth,” KOE said.

KOE also apologised to the legal counsel, whose office has been handling the legal matters of the committee for the past 45 years.