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IOC warns Pyeongchang in 2018 bid probe

IOC warns Pyeongchang in 2018 bid probe

The IOC issued a warning to Pyeongchang on Wednesday after a conflict-of-interest probe into sponsorship contracts tied to the South Korean city's bid for the 2018 Winter Olympics.
The IOC ethics commission ordered Pyeongchang to "fully respect the rules of conduct" after two South Korean companies signed sponsorship deals with international sports federations headed by senior IOC members.
Korean Air and the International Skating Union have agreed to postpone their sponsorship deal until after the 2018 host-city vote next July, the IOC said.
"The ethics commission reminded Pyeongchang 2018 and its related organizations to fully respect the rules of conduct related to candidate cities and issued a warning," the International Olympic Committee said in a statement.
A separate deal between electronics giant Samsung and the international rowing federation, known as FISA, did not break the rules, the IOC said. Samsung is one of the IOC's global sponsors.
"The IOC ethics commission recognized that FISA and its president acted in good faith, " the statement said.
However, FISA President and IOC executive board member Denis Oswald will abstain from voting on the 2018 bids "to avoid a perception of conflict of interests," the IOC said.
Pyeongchang is competing against Munich and the French town of Annecy. The IOC will select the host city by secret ballot at its session in Durban, South Africa, on July 6, 2011.
Pyeongchang, bidding for a third time after narrow defeats in the voting for the 2010 and 2014 Olympics, has been considered the favorite in the 2018 race.
The chief executive of Korean Air, Cho Yang-ho, is the head of Pyeongchang's Olympic bid.
The IOC statement did not mention Ottavio Cinquanta, an Italian executive board member who heads the skating federation that made the deal with the airline.
Cinquanta denied any wrongdoing in an interview with The Associated Press last week.
"There isn't anything secret or anything wrong," he said. "I would understand if I had spoken with the (Korean) Olympic Committee and did something wrong, but that's not the case."
"We never negotiated with him. Never," Cinquanta said, referring to Cho. "Nobody from my federation _ me, the general director, nor the vice president _ negotiated with him."
The IOC enacted strict ethics rules following the Salt Lake City bidding scandal 10 years ago. Ten IOC members resigned or were expelled for accepting scholarships, cash and other improper inducements during the Utah city's winning bid for the 2002 Winter Games.


Updated : 2021-06-15 16:12 GMT+08:00