POSTED: November 3rd 2010

IOC issues statement on possible conflict of interests

IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland / lake images
IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland / lake images

LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications

TAMPA/LAUSANNE. Nov 3: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has issued a statement regarding concerns of a potential conflict of interest concerning two sponsorship agreements linked to South Korea’s bid for the 2018 winter Games.

The IOC ethics commission raised the question if sponsorship deals involving the International Skating Federation (ISU) and Korean Air regarding their support for the short track competition was a possible conflict of interest. In view of this both parties have agreed to postpone the sponsorship time frame until after the IOC vote July 6, 2011 in Durban, South Africa.

As Korean Air is a partner of the PyeongChang 2018 bid and the ISU is a winter sport the question was raised. Ottavio Cinquanta, ISU head and IOC member, spoke to the Associated Press last week and defended the fact that his relations were strictly with the airlines and from a commercial point of view. They did not concern or involve the Korean Olympic Committee or the head of Korean Air, Yang Ho Cho, who is also in charge of the PyeongChang 2018 bid

The partnership deal between TOP sponsor and electronics conglomerate Samsung and the International Rowing Federation (FISA) to support the summer sport of rowing also came under fire. However following discussions the IOC added in the statement that the agreement did not infringe IOC rules.

However they did note that FISA President and IOC member Denis Oswald had decided to abstain from casting his vote for a bid city in Durban to avoid any perception of a conflict of interests.

Given the circumstances around the Salt Lake City bid city scandal a decade ago, the IOC has taken great pains to revise the entire bid process as the credibility of the organization came under scrutiny. IOC member visits to the bidding cities were abolished and new strict reinforcement regulations on campaigning were put into action.

At that time ten IOC members either resigned or had their memberships suspended for receiving scholarships, gifts, cash support, medical assistance or other forms of benefits.

However ten years later the revision of the bidding process is still a work in progress and many situations are dealt with on a per instance basis given the consequences and the individuals involved.

PyeongChang is running against Munich and Annecy in the race for the 2018 winter Games. The final winner will be decided in South Africa next summer.  

Keywords · IOC · PyeongChang 2018 · Olympic bidding ·

For more information contact:
Laura Walden ()

All original materials contained in this section are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Sports Features Communications, Inc the owner of that content. It is prohibited to alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.