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Ho Chi Minh City to inspect taekwondo division next month on bribery suspicion

Thursday, April 23, 2015, 19:06 GMT+7
Ho Chi Minh City to inspect taekwondo division next month on bribery suspicion
Nguyen Thanh Huy, head of the Ho Chi Minh City taekwondo division, is seen standing to speak during a meeting in this file photo.

Authorities in Ho Chi Minh City will begin a 45-day inspection at the city’s taekwondo division and Sports Center, where taekwondo and other martial arts artists are training, next month after a taekwondo chief has admitted to receiving money from another team, believed to be paid in return for gold medals at the National Sports Festival last year.

The Ho Chi Minh City Inspection Department said Wednesday that its inspectors will look into four areas at the taekwondo division and the center, including financial matters, training activities and the organization of taekwondo competitions, the management and transfer of taekwondo fighters, and other related affairs.

“We will prepare necessary documents and start our inspection in early May,” said a member of the inspection team.

Last month, Hua Ngoc Thuan – vice chairman of the municipal People’s Committee – accepted the request of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Culture and Sports to conduct the inspection.

Thuan ordered in a document sent to the inspection department that it should “clarify any violations and abuse of power of Nguyen Thanh Huy, head of the Ho Chi Minh City taekwondo division, and other related officials.”

In a recent meeting with senior sports officials of the city, Huy admitted that he had received VND414 million (US$19,200) from sports officials of the Mekong Delta province of Ca Mau in return for his decision to ‘lend’ coaches and fighters to Ca Mau to compete at the 2014 National Sports Festival.

The Ho Chi Minh City Sports Center, located 2-4 Le Dai Hanh Street, Ward 15, District 11, was established in 2013 following a merger between a local sports training school, the Phu Tho sports club, and a taekwondo and martial arts training center.

At the 2014 National Sports Festival in the northern province of Nam Dinh last November, the Ho Chi Minh City taekwondo team was accused of ‘selling’ gold medals by ‘withdrawing’ athletes from final matches and ‘lending’ talented fighters to other rivaling teams.

At the 6th National Sports Festival in 2010, the Ho Chi Minh City taekwondo team won three gold medals.

But it grabbed just one gold medal at the 7th edition last year although it has many taekwondo artists who have won medals at global competitions.

Meanwhile, four taekwondo fighters ‘lent’ to Ca Mau and the southern province of Binh Phuoc bagged two gold medals at the 2014 sports festival.

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