POSTED: February 8th 2010

IOC reinstates the former Samsung electronics head Lee Kun Hee

Kim: role now for PyeongChang / lake images
Kim: role now for PyeongChang / lake images

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT / Sports Features Communications

VANCOUVER, Feb. 8: The International Olympic Committee executive board has decided to reinstate membership with sanctions for former Samsung electronics head Lee Kun Hee upon recommendations from its ethics commission.

Lee was under the microscope for his tax evasion charges as head of Samsung Group for a sum of approximately US $108M. He was sentenced to a suspended term of a three year imprisonment and fined 110 billion Korean won in the Seoul Court of Appeal in August 2009. The President of South Korea gave him amnesty at the end of the year also.

Mark Adams, spokesperson for the IOC, explained that the sanction comprises a reprimand and exclusion from sitting on any IOC commissions through 2015.

However reinstatement of his IOC membership enables Lee to now actively lobby on behalf of the PyeongChang 2018 bid to host the Olympic winter Games.

A spokesman for the bid said: "The PyeongChang 2018 Bid Committee fully respects the decision of the IOC Executive Board to reinstate Mr. Kun-Hee Lee as a full IOC Member. The Bid Committee will meet with Mr. Lee in the near future to discuss the plans for PyeongChang 2018 and our campaign to bring the Winter Games to Korea.”

The city of PyeongChang has launched its third bid to win the rights to host the winter Games of 2018 and follows the successful summer edition of Seoul 1988.

The winter Games have most predominately been held in Europe (14 times) as opposed to the Americas (6 times) and Asia only twice with Sapporo ’72 and Nagano ’98. The last edition was also held in Europe with Turin ’06 and then will be back again in ’14 for Sochi. It could very well be the third time charm for the Asian bid running against two rivals Munich, Germany and Annecy, France.

The final vote will take place July 6, 2011 in Durban, South Africa at the IOC session.

Keywords · IOC · Samsung · Lee Kun Hee · Pyeongchang 2018 · Olympic bids

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