The 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea will be free of scandal says the organising chief.
SHOWS: PYEONGCHANG, SOUTH KOREA (NOVEMBER 8, 2016) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. . (SOUNDBITE (English) 2018 PYEONGCHANG WINTER OLYMPICS ORGANISING COMMITTEE PRESIDENT LEE HEE-BEOM SAYING ON CURRENT POLITICAL PROBLEMS IN SOUTH KOREA: "I have checked internally and I have found that in our POCOG organisations nothing was influenced. The Olympic games is not a political issue, it is a games of national games, not only a national games, but international games, so POCOG organisation will not be influenced by outside factors. So most of the articles quoted in the domestic media was exaggeration or distortions. So I can say that POCOG organisations, and also contracts within our organisations, was not contaminated, not influenced by outside factors. And the principal will be maintained until the end of the Olympic Games." STORY: Pyeongchang's 2018 Winter Olympics contracts are clean and not "contaminated" by outside factors, the Games' organising chief told Reuters on Tuesday (November 8), as South Korea's sporting community is dragged deeper into a political influence-peddling scandal. POCOG President Lee Hee-beom said he had carried out an internal probe and had found no evidence of any external influence on the contract process. The scandal affecting South Korean President Park Geun-hye involves her close friend Choi Soon-sil, who is alleged to have used her relationship with the president to meddle in state affairs and wield influence in the sports and cultural communities. Choi has been charged with abuse of power and fraud while a former aide has been charged with abuse of power and extortion after they helped raise $68 million from dozens of the country's biggest conglomerates on behalf of two foundations, one of which, 'K-Sports', is involved in projects such as building facilities and developing sporting talent for Olympic and Asian Games. South Korean media have also linked Choi to companies that were awarded lucrative contracts for the 2018 Games, Asia's first Winter Olympics outside of Japan. Winter Olympics head Lee told Reuters: "I can say that the POCOG organisation and also the contracts within our organisation, were not contaminated, were not influenced by outside factors." The former government minister for trade, industry and energy, said: "Most of the tenders for procurement were done through the public tender process, which cannot be affected by outside factors. "Most of the articles quoted in the domestic media were exaggeration or distortion...I have checked internally and found that within POCOG nothing was influenced. And that principle will be maintained until the Games."