The new corruption allegations are related to a secret bid campaign and the success of Pyeongchang (South Korea) winning the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
According to AFP, South Korea’s leading technology conglomerate, Samsung, is accused of leading a secret operation by offering incentives in exchange for votes. SBS South Korean radio station revealed that an investigation of its former President Lee Myung-bak discovered a list of 27 members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) suspected of supporting Pyeongchang in order to in exchange for marketing contracts and sponsorship deals.
Pyeongchang was given the right to host the aforementioned event when it defeated Munich (Germany) and Annecy (France) at the 2011 IOC meeting in Durban (South Africa). At that time, Thomas Bach (who was later elected IOC President in 2013) was a supporter of Munich’s bidding. SBS reports that 12 of the IOC’s 27 members are from African countries, including some that initially supported Annecy but suddenly turned to vote for Pyeongchang. The final result was that Pyeongchang received 63 votes, surpassing Munich (25 votes) and Annecy (7 votes) to win the right to host the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games.
The list is reported to be linked to Papa Massata Diack – the son of former International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Lamine Diack and is also banned from sports because of his involvement in the sport. in the elections to host Olympic events. Papa is said to have received a sum of up to $12.5 million according to the contract agreed to help Pyeongchang win. Meanwhile, Samsung, which is a leading sponsor of the IOC, has denied the allegations.
The Diack father and son were also involved in corruption investigations in connection with the race to host the 2016 Olympics (Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro won) and Tokyo’s 2020 Olympics (Japan). In it, Mr. Lamine is currently detained in France to serve investigations of allegations of accepting bribes to mediate ballots to host global sporting events.