IOC to investigate Moon case
Moon Dae-sung, Korea’s International Olympic Committee (IOC) member, who is in trouble for plagiarizing his doctoral thesis, didn’t respond to repeated calls Sunday for comments regarding The Korea Times’ report about the IOC’s plan to investigate the case.
Moon, a lawmaker elected for the upcoming 19th term of the National Assembly to represent a district in Busan, quit the ruling Saenuri Party after Kookmin University confirmed he had plagiarized his Ph.D. thesis, Friday. He is facing pressure from the opposition parties to give up his seat but is resisting calls to do so.
Meanwhile, the IOC replied to an email inquiry about how it will deal with the Moon case, saying that it is starting an investigation.
“We will contact the university in due time,” IOC spokesman Andrew Mitchell told The Korea Times. Kookmin will establish a full-scale committee to completely examine the case within 90 days.
“The IOC Ethics Commission will only be active, once there is a definitive decision by the university and only after the commission has received all the information, will it be able to discuss the issue,” Mitchell said.
Officials at the Korean Olympic Committee (KOC) and the Korea Taekwondo Association were unavailable for comment.
Currently, Korea has two IOC members — Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-hee and Moon, who was selected from among Olympian sportsmen and women.
Korea hosted the 1988 Summer Olympics held in Seoul, and is also slated to host the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang, Gangwon Province.
Some reports quoted an unnamed KOC official as saying that Moon is serving an eight-year term at the IOC and is unlikely to renounce his post at least for the time being.
Moon’s case is the second plagiarism issue swirling around the IOC of late. Earlier this month, the IOC said it would examine Pal Schmitt, the former Hungarian president and IOC member, over his plagiarism scandal involving a doctoral dissertation he wrote 20 years ago. Due to the scandal, Schmitt resigned from the presidency on April 2.