Just two weeks ahead of the vote on Beijing’s bid for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, a senior Chinese sports official was fired Thursday amid a corruption probe.
The State Council announced through its human resources ministry that Xiao Tian was removed from the position of vice minister of the General Administration of Sport of China, Reuters reported. He was placed under investigation for possible corruption in June. At the time the Communist Party’s anti-graft watchdog, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, said Xiao was being probed for suspected “serious breaches of discipline and the law”.
Xiao was a vice chairman of China’s national Olympic committee.
In late June Beijing 2022 bid committee spokeswoman Wang Hui said that the investigation of Xiao would not affect the Olympic candidacy. In a statement she said, “Beijing 2022’s focus remains on our bid, and efforts to present the best possible plan”.
Beijing is competing against Almaty, Kazakhstan to host the 2022 Winter Games. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will elect a host city on July 31 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.