IOC questions veracity of ex-employee ‘persona non grata’ corruption allegations

Published by
Peter Kavinsky

The International Olympic Committee has questioned the veracity of a former high-profile boxing and taekwondo official’s allegations about widespread bribery and corruption within the movement.

In a series of interviews with The times, Ho Kim accused the IOC of complicity in the elevation of CK Wu to the post of president of the AIBA, now renamed the International Boxing Association (IBA). Kim served under Wu as the executive director of AIBA for eight years until his resignation in 2015.

Kim also claimed to have facilitated the delivery of cash and cars to IOC members to ensure taekwondo was accepted as an Olympic sport in 2000, through his role as the head of marketing and public relations for the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF).

The IOC described Kim as a long-standing “persona non grata” within the movement and confirmed that the South Korean official had not contacted the IOC ethics commission, or its integrity and compliance hotline, with his allegations.

The IOC said in a statement: “The International Boxing Association (AIBA), as it was called at the time, fired Ho Kim in June 2015. During all this time, even before his resignation, Ho Kim was for many years a persona non grata at the IOC”.

The IOC has hinted that Kim’s role was a factor in its decision to withhold AIBA recognition in 2019 due to governance concerns. The IBA remains on the blacklist, and as a result, boxing was left off the initial list of proposed sports for the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.

The IOC referred to a report by a committee of inquiry into AIBA in 2019, which led to its suspension, which concluded: “Mr. Ho Kim… continues to provide regular information to the IOC on the management of AIBA.

“The opacity of the relationship between AIBA and this former executive director appears to be confirmed by AIBA’s 2018 expenses, which include payments of consulting fees to Mr. Ho Kim; Deloitte was unable to determine the basis of such payments.”

Wu was elected president of AIBA in 2006. He was accused of presiding over a culture of corruption and plunging the organization into a financial crisis before his departure in 2017 – charges he continues to deny.

World Taekwondo said it had “absolutely no knowledge” of Kim’s claims that voting IOC officials were bought with money in brown envelopes to ensure their inclusion as a full-medal sport at Sydney 2000.

World Taekwondo – which dropped the Federation of its name in June 2017 – said in a statement: “World Taekwondo has absolutely no knowledge of any of these allegations against the former administration.”

Peter Kavinsky

Peter Kavinsky is the Executive Editor at cablefreetv.org

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