World Taekwondo has ‘no knowledge’ of bribing claim to make it Olympic sport
- Former employee claims he helped sport gain Olympic place
- Ho Kim asserts officials with voting rights were bought off
World Taekwondo says it has “absolutely no knowledge” about a former employee’s claim that he was involved in paying bribes to secure the sport’s place at the Olympics.
Ho Kim, a South Korean who was the head of marketing and PR at the World Taekwondo Federation, has made several wide-ranging bribery and corruption allegations in a whistleblower interview with the Times.
One of them centres on how taekwondo got on to the Olympic programme as a full medal sport at Sydney 2000, with Ho Kim asserting officials with voting rights were bought off with cash in brown envelopes.
Ho Kim – who alleged he arranged for two cars to be sent to one IOC member – said: “Taekwondo started as an Olympic sport from Sydney in 2000 because of that.”
Taekwondo made its first appearance at an Olympics as a demonstration sport in Seoul 1988 and had the same status at Barcelona 1992 before being upgraded eight years later.
World Taekwondo – which dropped Federation from its name in June 2017 – said in a statement: “World Taekwondo has absolutely no knowledge about any of these allegations against the former administration.
“World Taekwondo urges that all evidence behind these allegations is shared with the World Taekwondo Integrity Committee so a proper investigation can be conducted. It would therefore not be appropriate to comment any further until the investigation has concluded. In the meantime, World Taekwondo continues to uphold the highest standards of good governance and integrity in the global administration of our sport.”