NEW YORK -- IOC investigators will recommend severe censure for the highest-ranking member implicated in the corruption scandal and a high-profile delegate from the next Olympic host country, Olympic sources told The Associated Press today.

Un Yong Kim, an executive board member from South Korea and a powerful leader of international sports, and Phil Coles, a longtime IOC member who resigned early today from his paid position with the Australian Olympic Committee, barely escaped a recommendation that they be expelled, the sources said.A third leading member, former vice president Vitaly Smirnov of Russia, also will be recommended for a severe warning, said the sources, who spoke on the condition they not be identified.

They also said Kim's case remained open on one front and raised the possibility of the recommendation being upgraded from censure to expulsion "if what's alleged turns out to be true."

Only one new member, Seiuli Paul Wallwork of Western Samoa, will be recommended for expulsion by the six-man panel, according to the sources.

Less severe warnings were proposed for Louis Guirandou-N'Diaye of the Ivory Coast, Willi Kaltschmitt of Guatemala, Shagdarjav Magvan of Mongolia, Anani Matthia of Togo, Austin Sealy of Barbados and Mohamed Zerguini of Algeria, the sources said.

Three others, they said, would be exonerated -- Henry Edmund Olufemi Adefope of Nigeria, Ashwini Kumar of India and Ram Ruhee of Mauritius.

The IOC was scheduled to announce the recommendations today. They must be acted upon by the ruling executive board before final action by a special general assembly next week.

Dick Pound, the IOC vice president from Canada who heads the internal investigation, declined to comment when reached by phone at his Montreal law office.

Nine IOC members already have resigned or been expelled in the worst corruption scandal in the Olympics' 105 years, a million-dollar vote-buying scheme surrounding Salt Lake City's winning bid for the 2002 Winter Games.

The internal investigation dealt with 14 members in its first phase and reconvened to consider another 16 members implicated last month in a Utah ethics board report.

Six of those cases, involving unidentified members, were considered insignificant and dropped without any action, the sources said.

Kim is president of both the international Taekwondo federation and the confederation of Olympic sports bodies, and he has been considered a possible successor to Juan Antonio Samaranch as IOC president.

His case was one of three left open under the initial phase of the inquiry, and he has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. He also has promised to use "lots of ammunition" to fight any action against him.,

The Salt Lake report and the IOC's initial investigation alleged that Kim used his Olympic position to help land lucrative jobs in telecommunications and music for his two children -- daughter Kim Hae-jung, a concert pianist, and son Kim Jung-hoon, a satellite television executive also known as John Kim.

The IOC commission had concluded its work on allegations involving concert dates and recording contracts for Kim Hae-jung, the sources said. But the investigation remained open on allegations that Kim Un-yong knew that Salt Lake bidders helped pay for a job for his son at Keystone Communications in Utah, they said.

"If the allegations turn out to be true, the recommendation might change from censure to expulsion," one source said.

In addition, the sources said that Finland's Pirjo Haeggman, the first IOC member to quit in the scandal, faxed other delegates saying she "resigned under pressure" from the Finnish media.

The sources also said they knew nothing of reports in the French sports daily L'Equipe and a German Olympics newsletter, SportIntern, that Haeggman would seek to rescind her resignation.

But the sources added that Haeggman would have been recommended for expulsion if she had not resigned and did not know if a resignation, once accepted, could be withdrawn.

Coles was cited by the Utah ethics panel for accepting some $60,000 in travel to ski resorts and the Super Bowl from Salt Lake bidders.

One of the best-liked members in the clubby IOC, Coles has repeatedly denied wrongdoing but conceded he had been "careless" in handling the lavish perks.

Smirnov, who was head of the former Soviet Union's sports machine and served as an IOC vice president during the Cold War, was cited in the Salt Lake report for involvement in a scholarship at the University of Utah for Ekaterina Soukhorado, the daughter of the head of a leading Russian recording company. Kim Jae-hung signed her first major recording contract with the company Melodia.

Wallwork, never in a leadership position since joining the IOC in 1987, came under investigation after it was revealed his wife, Julia, had borrowed $30,000 from Tom Welch, the former head of Salt Lake's Olympic efforts.

The ethics report said Welch had to withdraw the money from his children's trust funds, and the loan was repaid.