China's top sports body busted on rules violations

Updated: 2014-11-03 20:57

By Sun Xiaochen(

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China's central sport governing body has violated rules involving match-fixing, talent selection and the operation of events, said the country's top anti-graft watchdog, citing the agency's power-centralized bureaucracy.

As part of the country's anti-corruption campaign, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) of the Communist Party of China sent an inspection group from July to September to inspect the operation of the General Administration of Sport of China (GASC) and its affiliated event governing centers.

A series of malpractices and violations were discovered during this inspection, according to the report published on CCDI's official website on Sunday.

"Some of the processes of sporting events approval, athletes drafting and referees appointment were not conducted openly and transparently enough. The violation of fair-play principal such as match-fixing and cheating remains severe. The GASC-affiliated administrative centers have centralized too much power," said the report.

The inspection group also received complaints and discipline-violation tip-offs from the public, targeting senior officials within the GASC and its affiliated administrative centers. All the evidence has been handed over to CCDI for further investigation.

The report also pointed out that GASC's Party committee and disciplinary inspection department "didn't implement strict enough supervision nor launched punishment on violation of rules and disciplines".

Zhang Huawei, representative of the inspection group, said the GASC has played an instrumental role in promoting a mass fitness campaign while improving the country's athletic level as well as sporting influence around the world. Still, he added, much can improve.

"Strong measures must be taken to control the abuse of power. The approval procedure for sporting events should be streamlined, while the recruitment of athletes and coaches as well as referee appointments should be done in open and transparent environment under supervision," Zhang said.

"The crackdown on match-fixing should be further strengthened and more third-party supervision is needed on bidding process for sporting events operators and commercial partners," he added.

The inspection was another major campaign against corruption in China's sports arena after the crackdown on match-fixing and graft in soccer around 2010.

The Chinese Football Association announced in early 2013 to punish 33 individuals, including several former top soccer officials, renowned referees and ex-national players, and 12 clubs involved in game-cheating and corruption scandals after a nationwide investigation in 2010.

Some of the controversial national team recruits, which saw experienced high-level athletes replaced by low-profile young athletes before major events, also became targets for potential abuse of power during the investigation.

Liu Peng, head of the GASC, said the issues reported by the investigation are "straight to the point" and are "enlightening enough", and the GASC would launch careful self-examinations and punish those who violated disciplines and laws.