Samsung chairman forfeits IOC membership

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Samsung chairman forfeits IOC membership

Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee has rescinded his membership in the International Olympic Committee.

The IOC’s executive board announced Friday that Lee’s family had asked the committee “not to consider Mr. Lee for re-election as an IOC member.”

The 75-year-old has been an IOC member since 1996 but remains hospitalized after suffering a heart attack in May 2014.

Lee’s resignation leaves Korea with one IOC member, Ryu Seung-min. The former Olympic table tennis champion was elected to the IOC’s Athletes’ Commission last year.

Members of the commission enjoy the same rights as other IOC members, but they serve single eight-year terms. IOC members are also elected for eight years, though their mandates can be renewed.

Lee has served on two IOC commissions, the Cultural Commission in 1997 and Finance from 1998 to 1999. In 1991, he received the Olympic Order, awarded for particularly distinguished contributions to the Olympic Movement.

Lee voluntarily gave up his IOC rights in 2008 after he was indicted in a tax evasion case. The Korean government pardoned him in 2009, and the IOC reinstated him in February 2010.

The IOC then gave Lee a public reprimand and banned him from serving on any commissions for five years.

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