Beijing says sports minister probe won't affect 2022 bid

Tue Jun 30, 2015 6:10am EDT
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By Ben Blanchard

BEIJING (Reuters) - A corruption investigation into a deputy Chinese sports minister who had sat on the country's Olympic committee will not impact Beijing's bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics, a spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

The Communist Party's anti-graft watchdog the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said last week that Xiao Tian, a deputy head of China's General Administration of Sport, is being probed for suspected "serious breaches of discipline and the law", the usual euphemism for corruption.

Wang Hui, spokeswoman for the Beijing 2022 bid team, told reporters that China was committed to holding a "clean Olympics" and that Xiao's investigation showed the "vigor" of the government's ongoing anti-corruption campaign.

"I believe that the handling of Xiao Tian will not in the slightest affect our application. Quite the opposite, it will make Chinese sports even cleaner," Wang said.

"Our confidence has not been shaken. We will as before carry on with our application work," she said.

Wang said she knew no details of the probe, which she had learned about from the media.

"No officials around me have been affected because of this."

Corruption in international sports is in focus because of a U.S. and Swiss probe into world soccer body FIFA.   Continued...

Xiao Tian, deputy director of General Administration of Sports of China, attends a news conference in Shanyang, Liaoning province, China, August 30, 2013.REUTERS/Stringer