Fri, Dec 29, 2017 - Page 1 News List

Associations named in scandal

MANIPULATION:Some sports associations have raised membership fees to deter new members, which hinders reform efforts, Legislator Chang Liao Wan-chien said

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

Sports Administration Director-General Lin Te-fu, right, yesterday speaks at a news conference at the legislature in Taipei on the alleged attempts by sports associations to create fake members with the aim of manipulating association elections.

Photo: CNA

Five sports associations are suspected of creating dummy accounts to register large numbers of new members to manipulate upcoming association elections, Sports Administration Director-General Lin Te-fu (林德福) said yesterday, adding that they have been reported to the judiciary.

Following the passage of amendments to the National Sports Act (國民體育法) on Aug. 31, sports associations are required to hold a leadership election within six months as part of the reform to improve transparency.

Associations have been criticized for monopolizing government funds and athletes’ qualification.

During a news conference held by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers, Lin rejected the allegation that the Sports Administration was involved in the membership scandal, saying that it reported the Chinese Taipei Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation, the Chinese Taipei Shooting Association, the Chinese Taipei Bowling Association, the Chinese Taipei Soft Tennis Association and the Chinese Taipei Billiards Association to the judiciary for suspected membership fraud after it was discovered that a large number of membership applications to those associations were registered under the same address.

“Any evidence of illegal activities are to be transferred to the judiciary. I am confident in sports association reform, which opens the door for public participation,” Lin said.

Lin said that no agency officials, including himself, engaged in alleged membership fraud or attempts to secure management positions for interest groups, and the agency would crack down on any vote-rigging activities during the course of association elections.

DPP Legislator Cheng Ting-fei (陳亭妃) called on law enforcement agencies to step in and prevent electoral fraud, saying that false accusations against the agency would hinder reform efforts.

DPP Legislator Chang Liao Wan-chien (張廖萬堅) urged sports associations to be open to reform amid reports that some associations, including the baseball association, have dramatically raised membership fees to deter new members.

“If they agree with the agency initiative to launch a direct leadership election, associations should allow members to fully participate and express their ideas,” Chang Liao said.

Meanwhile, New Power Party Executive Chairman Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) accused Lin of lying about his alleged involvement in the scandal and demanded his resignation.

Huang, who on Tuesday filed a formal complaint against various sports associations for alleged membership fraud, said the agency had only reported five “small time associations,” while covering up more serious membership scandals.

Lin was lying about his involvement in the scandal after a letter from an unnamed athlete accused Lin of attempting to interfere with association elections, Huang said.

Huang asked the Executive Yuan to immediately remove Lin and investigate the alleged fraud to ensure the reform of sports associations.

Huang is to lead a protest against the agency in front of its headquarters in Taipei today and chair a news conference exposing the alleged wrongdoings of the agency in dealing with the scandal.

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