USOC press release Lloyd D Ward Resigns as Chief Executive Officer of the United States Olympic Co

By U.S. Olympic | March 01, 2003, 12 a.m. (ET)
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Lloyd D. Ward, Chief Executive Officer of the United States Olympic Committee for the past 16 months, informed USOC Acting President Bill Martin today that, "In the hope that we can shift the focus back to the athletes and the ideals of the Olympic movement, I have decided to resign as Chief Executive Officer of the United States Olympic Committee." Mr. Ward's resignation is effective immediately. Mr. Martin commended Mr. Ward for "giving a higher priority to the well-being of the U.S. Olympic program than to his own self-interest" and thanked him for his "resolute commitment to the thousands of young men and women who have dedicated themselves to participating in the Olympic program." In a prepared statement, Mr. Ward endorsed the intervention of Senators McCain, Stevens and Campbell in addressing the governance process at the USOC that has been in place since Congress enacted the Amateur Sports Act in 1978. "It is no coincidence that the USOC has had 11 CEOs and 10 volunteer presidents since 1978," he wrote. Mr. Ward, referring to the conflict of interest controversy at the USOC that has received considerable media attention since the start of the year, said "competing interests within the USOC have placed its CEOs in an untenable, if not impossible role." "My hope," he added, "is that the governance structure at the USOC be clarified at an early date to eliminate the backbiting we who have been CEO have endured." He pledged his continuing "admiration and support for the thousands of young men and women who give so much of themselves competing under USOC auspices for an opportunity to bring gold and glory to the United States." Mr. Martin indicated that, early next week, an Interim CEO will be appointed to direct the day-to-day operations of the USOC. In resigning, Mr. Ward will receive no severance payment. According to Mr. Martin, Mr. Ward will receive medical benefits for up to 12 months and a laptop computer.