Bribery scandal hits synchronized swimming team

October 8, 2014

North Korean synchronized swimmers earned bronze medal in Incheon Asian Games, but South Korea did not place. (AP)

By Lee Kyung-min

A board member of the Korea Swimming Federation (KSF) is being investigated over allegations that he received bribes from the parents of some synchronized swimmers in exchange for allowing them to compete in the Incheon Asian Games.

The man, whose name was withheld, allegedly received some 50-60 million won ($47,000) per swimmer in exchange for selecting them as members of the national synchronized swimming team for the Games, which ended Oct. 4. The Korean team failed to win a medal.

Police refused to reveal the names of swimmers involved.

Police in Songpa, southern Seoul, said that they have seized bank account and phone records from the swimmers’ parents.

Those parents and the KSF director will face police questioning next week.

According to police, he is running a synchronized swimming team. Only members of his team were chosen for the national team.

A source said the selection process for the Asian Games was absurd.

An athlete was eliminated just because she had lived overseas, which usually is not considered in selecting members of the national team.