[EDITORIALS]That odor is Korean sports

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[EDITORIALS]That odor is Korean sports

The investigation concerning the wrongdoing of the Korea Taekwondo Association's secretariat members grows by the day. A former high-ranking official and the vice-chairman of the Committee of Judges have been arrested on charges of receiving bribes for the selection of athletes on the national team. Investigations have revealed that the official deposited a large sum of money in the bank account of the son of Kim Un-yong, the president of the Korea Sports Council and former president of the association. Prosecutors are also looking into suspicions of organized crime having been involved in the election of the association's president.

Taekwondo is virtually the only Korean sport that has had success in the world. We, as the founding country of taekwondo, should be ashamed of showing such corruption. Taekwondo was chosen as an official Olympic event but it still lacks strong international support. There are even voices claiming that the World Taekwondo Federation Headquarters located in Seoul should be moved to another country to better promote the sport, as some still refuse to acknowledge taekwondo's worthiness to be an Olympic event. At a time when we should be concentrating on promoting taekwondo, we are engaged in a useless fight among ourselves.

Outwardly, we are a strong nation in sports. With the International Judo Federation President Park Yong-sung' election as a member of the International Olympic Committee, South Korea has three IOC members. But we lack substance. Our sports are marked by riots, bribing of referees, dirty calls and rigged events. Corruption among sports officials is also commonplace. Our sports organizations are in need of reform as well. Our sports administration should be based on science and transparency guaranteeing the improvement of our competitiveness. Officials should look at the taekwondo mess as a lesson on what is needed for the betterment of sports.
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