The official health provider for the 2002 Winter Games is pointing an accusing finger at the man who led Salt Lake City's efforts to land those Games.

Intermountain Health Care says Tom Welch, former head of the Salt Lake Olympic effort, talked IHC into giving medical assistance to people affiliated with the International Olympic Committee. The free medical services have become part of an ongoing scandal surrounding Salt Lake's Winter Games bid.Welch responds that he only sought charitable care for the less fortunate.

Meanwhile, the University of Utah says it was not pressured by the Salt Lake Bid Committee regarding medical assistance, which is the subject of a federal subpoena its Moran Eye Center received.

IHC, the eye center and two physicians affiliated with the U. were served subpoenas this week in a widening federal investigation into the bribery scandal.

Daron Cowley, IHC spokesman, says the chain is in the position of responding to subpoenas because the bid committee took advantage of it. IHC is headquartered in Salt Lake City and has hospitals, clinics and affiliated doctors throughout Utah.

"Earlier in the week, we did receive a subpoena," said Cowley. "It's concerning medical care provided for persons affiliated with the IOC. Beyond that, we've been asked by the investigating agency not to disclose the specifics in the documents."

But he was able to recount IHC's version of how the treatment was offered.

The committee referred three people to the nonprofit health care chain, he said.

"We provided care without charge," he added.

"One individual had hepatitis, another individual had a knee-joint replacement and ankle surgery, and the third person had some eye surgery."

Welch, who had directed the bid committee's effort to win the Winter Games, sought the health care on behalf of the three people, he said.

"Tom Welch said they're from Third World countries, they don't have the technology in these countries for these procedures, and he asked if we could arrange for physicians to look at these people."

A different doctor looked at each of the three, he said.

"Well, we want to be a good community citizen, so we said, 'Yes, we'll help out.' These are the kinds of things we do."

In retrospect, Cowley said, if IHC had suspected the assistance was inappropriate, it would not have given the health care.

"Looking back, we think we were taken advantage of," he added.

IHC knew nothing about the rules that govern gifts someone affiliated with IOC could receive, he said. The chain is concerned with making people well, not with regulations governing the IOC.

"We just feel it really took advantage of us," Cowley repeated.

Tom Schaffer, attorney for Welch, said Welch takes the position that Salt Lake City has been part of the Olympics community for a good number of years, "and that community considered itself a family."

"Tom (Welch) said, 'When a member of the family needed help, I thought it was the charitable thing to do to try to help those people,' " Schaffer said.

Welch now finds it unbelievable that people are saying that offering medical assistance to people who are less advantaged somehow is wrong, Schaffer said.

"Especially in this state and in this community, where there is such a spirit of giving, and of family, he finds it odd that people are saying that what he did was wrong," Schaffer said.

According to John K. Morris, legal counsel to the president of the U., the subpoena asks for medical records relating to treatment of anyone on a list of about 120 names. He assumes the list relates to the IOC.

The subpoena specifically identifies the Moran Eye Center, part of University Hospital, plus two physicians on the faculty of the ophthalmology department.

"The university, in the course of its own investigation, has not uncovered any evidence that there was any pressure or any inappropriate activity or request" on the part of the local Olympics committee, he said.

"We're just a witness in this thing," Morris added. "No one's accused us of doing anything wrong."

SLOC spokesman Frank Zang pointed out that the bid committee and the SLOC are not the same group. The earlier committee transformed itself into SLOC when the city won the Winter Games in 1995.

"The organization committee is still not able to address the particular activities of the bid committee until all the investigations have run their course," Zang said.

"Like IHC, the organizing committee is fully cooperating with the ongoing probes. We're looking to the investigators to provide the answers to questions that all of us have."