14 Indicted in South Korea’s Swimming Federation Corruption Scandal

John Kim, March 22, 2016, 7:43 a.m.

Prosecutors said Tuesday 10 board members of South Korea's swimming federation and four businessmen have been indicted on a string of corruption charges, including peddling influence when selecting national team members. The board members of the Korea Swimming Federation (KSF) are accused of siphoning state support funds and peddling influence in the process of selecting national athletes, the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office said, wrapping up a month-long investigation.

Prosecutors said five of the executives indicted are currently in custody. One of them, identified only by his last name Chung, is accused of pocketing some 450 million won (US$390,000) from 2004 to 2015. He is also accused of unlawfully helping certain athletes and coaches join the national team. Another suspect, surnamed Lee, has been charged with embezzling some 1.3 billion won and giving part of it as kickbacks to Chung.

Noh Min-sang, a former national team coach famous for coaching South Korean Olympic swimming champion Park Tae-hwan, is also accused of giving some 100 million won to Chung between 2009 and 2011. Noh was exempt from indictment as the statute of limitations has run out.

Lee Dong-yoel, who led the probe, said major board members of the federation were involved in the corruption, citing the organization's exclusiveness as a factor. "Internal regulation and the inspection system failed to perform their roles," Lee claimed, adding such problems adversely affected athletes.

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