A National Basketball Association investigation into racist comments made by Donald Sterling found the Clippers owner tried to cover up the scandal and avoid responsibility for the recorded rant, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.
The Times reviewed confidential NBA documents that allege Sterling asked companion V. Stiviano, the woman with whom Sterling was speaking when he made the comments at the center of the scandal, to lie to NBA investigators about the recording's authenticity. The recording was posted to TMZ.com and triggered the NBA's investigation that resulted in a charge calling for the 80-year-old Sterling's termination as owner.
League owners are expected to discuss the charge at a June 3 meeting at which the other 29 owners also might hear Sterling's response to the accusations. Owners can then vote on whether to terminate the NBA's longest-tenured owner.
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The Times report, citing the NBA's charging documents, said Sterling tried to convince Stiviano to claim she altered the recording. The report also said the documents indicate team president Andy Roeser discussed the recording with Sterling and asked a team employee to delete a copy before it became public.
The organization released a statement attributed to Roeser after TMZ posted the recordings that said, "We have heard the tape on TMZ. We do not know if it is legitimate or it has been altered."
Roeser took a leave of absence after the recordings were posted online.
Sterling has until May 27 to respond to the NBA charges. His attorney did not respond to a Los Angeles Times request to comment on the allegations.