Thursday, February 28, 2002
Besieged Kim offers to resign post
SEOUL, South Korea -- Kim Un-yong, a South Korean IOC member
plagued by scandals and a speed skating controversy at the Salt
Lake City Winter Olympics, offered Thursday to resign as head of
the country's sports governing body.
Kim abruptly offered to resign during a meeting of delegates of
the Korea Sports Council, said Park Pil-soon, a council spokesman.
Kim also offered to resign as head of South Korea's Olympic
Committee, then left the conference room, Park said.
The delegates met without Kim and "unanimously" decided to ask
Kim to complete his five-year term that ends in February 2005, Park
Kim has yet to decide whether to accept, Park said. The
spokesman said earlier that Kim accepted the request.
"Chairman Kim returned to the meeting and thanked delegates for
the request, which made us believe that he was accepting the
request. But as the situation stands now, his offer to resign still
stands," Park said. "He will make his final position known in a
day or so."
There was no comment from Kim on the episode.
The 70-year-old Kim has been plagued by scandals involving him
and his family.
Prosecutors are investigating a case in which Kim's son, John,
reportedly received bribes from a jailed taekwondo official accused
of fixing taekwondo tournaments.
Before the scandal surfaced, Kim resigned as head of the South
Korean Taekwondo Association in November. Kim still heads the World
Kim is also under public criticism for failing to take a firmer
stand on the controversial disqualification of South Korean short
track skater Kim Dong-sung in an Olympic race in Salt Lake City.
Kim Dong-sung crossed the line first in the 1,500 meters, but
was disqualified for impeding the course of American Apolo Anton
Ohno, who was awarded the gold.
South Korea's Olympic delegation first threatened to boycott the
Olympics' closing ceremony in protest. But Kim Un-yong reversed
Kim Un-yong was reprimanded by the International Olympic
Committee in 2000 for his involvement in the Salt Lake City bribery
His son was accused of getting a sham job funded by the Salt
Lake City's Olympic bid committee. The senior Kim disavowed any
knowledge of the affair.
The son was indicted in the United States on charges of
immigration, fraud and lying to the FBI. He fled to South Korea
before charges were filed.