A SENSATIONAL new report has revealed the alleged dark world of Olympic corruption – from prostitutes and bribes to paying millions for gold medals.
The allegations come after news emerged that boxing could be axed from the Games amid a public war between the International Boxing Association (IBA) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) with the latter take over the competition from the 2024 Games.
The IBA were previously responsible for Olympic boxing but now the IOC will take responsibility for the governance, refereeing and judging as well as financially – leading to them writing to the IBA to reveal their concerns and the possibility of ditching boxing from the Olympics altogether.
Now it is taekwondo – which was introduced at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 – which has come under scrutiny in a report from The Times.
The Korean martial art had failed for 20 years to make it onto the Olympic stage before Ho Kim became the director of marketing and PR for the World Taekwondo Federation in 1994.
His main task in the role was to assist Dr Kim Un-yong, who was the president and also a member of the IOC, in securing the sport’s place on the Olympic programme.
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Dr Kim was forced to resign from the IOC in 2005 and has been jailed for embezzlement and bribery in South Korea after he was accused of “missing millions from the accounts of the National Olympic Committee and the Taekwondo Federation” but would receive a presidential pardon prior to his death in 2017.
Now Ho Kim has shockingly claimed that Dr Kim “instructed him to distribute bribes before the 1994 IOC congress in Paris” where taekwondo was finally confirmed as part of the Games for Sydney.
He alleges that the now deceased Malian IOC member Lamine Keita, who was expelled from the committee for his involvement in a bribery scandal relating to the 2002 Winter Olympics, helped taekwondo for a price.
Ho Kim, 66, said: “On one occasion when we were campaigning to get taekwondo into the Olympics, I had to send two Daewoo cars to an IOC member. Lamine Keita got the cars. We sent one car. And Dr Kim said, ‘Ho, this son of a b***h wants another car. Send another one.’”
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Ho Kim also says others wanted money and that Dr Kim would buy a first-class plane ticket to Seoul and then ask them to send an invoice for the price of it, which they could then collect in cash and “hookers” once they had arrived in South Korea.
He said: “That way he could give them cash. All he needed was a receipt. And then when they arrived at the Shilla Hotel, I would give them cash.
“I was the delivery boy. It was Korean cash they could use for shopping while here. In addition to hookers.
“Taekwondo started as an Olympic sport from Sydney in 2000 because of that. I remember he even came to Seoul at one point, to go to the Daewoo factory for parts.”
Despite not offering an exact figure, Ho kim claims a “lot” of money was paid and that he is happy to provide a list of those who took the bribes to any public inquiry.
Ho Kim also made a number of other staggering revelations, claiming that payments were made in exchange for gold medals in World Championship and Olympic boxing.
He says bribes worth around $1 million “were demanded to guarantee Olympic boxing gold at Athens 2004” and that Azerbaijan “paid $10m in the form of a loan after being offered a gold medal at London 2012”.
And he also claims to have photographic evidence of cash he was offered to fix World Championship bouts.
Ho Kim stated that he has decided to speak out amid the IOC’s threat to remove boxing from the Games programme.
An IBA presidential election will be held this week as part of an extraordinary congress after the IOC raised concerns about the governance of the organisation under its current Russian president Umar Kremlev.
An IOC spokesperson said in response to the allegations: “Anybody who has good governance concerns with regard to IOC members is invited to contact the IOC ethics commission.”
The Azerbaijan Boxing Federation was also approached for comment but is yet to issue a response.
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