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AG orders criminal investigation into Cyprus Olympic Committee member

Attorney-General Giorgos Savvides

The Attorney General’s office on Thursday instructed the police to initiate a criminal investigation following the findings presented by the Sports Ethics Committee regarding potential criminal offences allegedly committed by a member of the Cyprus Olympic Committee (KOE).

According to a statement from the attorney-general, after examining the report, a decision was made to refer findings and evidence to the police chief for a criminal investigation.

The report detailed possible financial mismanagement within the Olympic Committee, focusing on the expenses incurred during Cyprus’ participation in the Games of the Small States of Europe (GSSE) held in Malta in May. The total cost of the Cypriot mission reportedly exceeded previous events’ budgets.

The committee raised concerns about the composition of the mission, consisting not only of 187 athletes but an additional 100 individuals, including numerous media representatives. The audit service had received complaints about the significant expenses funded by the foreign ministry.

Allegations were also made regarding the more expensive accommodation of the KOE president compared to other mission members, further adding to the scrutiny.

During a House ethics committee meeting that took place at the end of October, various complaints were presented, prompting discussions about the discrepancy in costs and the mismanagement practices within the KOE.

Adding fuel to the fire, KOE general secretary Andreas Georgiou and committee members Andreas Theophylaktou and Dimitris Leontis, who were present at the session, painted a disparaging picture of KOE president Giorgos Chrysostomou’s management style, claiming they were kept in the dark about communications and meetings with the foreign ministry on the issue.

They spoke of bad governance practices, non-observance of good practices, failure to inform the members of the executive council for decision-making, and bullying.

They also went as far as to question where a sponsorship of €200,000 from Opap went as there were no meetings on the subject, and information about the Malta mission was incomplete.

Georgiou said the biggest problem of recent years is the recording of minutes, as Chrysostomou stopped taking minutes when he took over as president of KOE.

“He records what he wants,” Georgiou said, referring to incorrect minutes and the non-recording of the views of dissenters, while noting that nobody takes minutes during meetings of the executive council.

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