Prez reprimanded in plagiarism case

The IOC reprimanded Hungarian member and former Hungarian president Pal Schmitt on Thursday for a plagiarism scandal.

The IOC executive board acted after Schmitt decided to ”suspend himself” from serving on any IOC commissions.

”This was felt to be sufficient,” IOC spokesman Mark Adams said.

Schmitt could have faced harsher punishments, including suspension or expulsion.

The two-time Olympic gold medalist in fencing resigned as Hungarian president last year after a university panel found that most of his doctoral thesis about the modern Olympics was copied from other authors.

Schmitt, an IOC member since 1983, said he acted in good faith and was unaware at the time that his 1992 thesis did not meet academic standards.

The IOC ethics commission investigated his case, which went to the executive board on Thursday for a ruling.

Schmitt had suspended himself from IOC activities for a year while the investigation was going on.

He will continue to serve as an IOC member and be eligible to vote in elections, but will no longer sit on any commissions.

Schmitt had been chairman of the IOC sport and environment commission and was a member of the international relations commission.

Schmitt ran for IOC president in 2001, an election won by Jacques Rogge.

Last year, a five-member university committee consisting of four professors and a lawyer found that over 200 pages of Schmitt’s 215-page thesis were either direct translations or showed ”partial similarity” to other works.

This month, a special committee at Semmelweis University said it completed its review of Schmitt’s case and found his thesis did not meet the necessary requirements in form or content. The committee also criticized the then-independent Hungarian University of Physical Education for having accepted Schmitt’s submission, calling that step illegal and unethical.