Wed, Apr 04, 2018 - Page 3 News List

NPP lawmakers accuse swimming group of graft

By Ann Maxon  /  Staff reporter

From left, swimmer Jason Tang, New Power Party (NPP) Executive Chairman Huang Kuo-chang, center, and NPP Legislator Hsu Yung-ming, right, yesterday take part in a news conference in Taipei to air allegations of graft against the leadership of the Chinese Taipei Swimming Association.

Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times

The Chinese Taipei Swimming Association (CTSA) in 2016 applied for nearly NT$60,000 in government subsidies to purchase uniforms for the national team, but athletes only received free jackets from a sponsor, New Power Party (NPP) Executive Chairman Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) yesterday told a news conference in Taipei.

The CTSA used receipts from sportswear company Olymate to apply for a subsidy of NT$27,600 from the Sports Administration, he said.

Pictures of the receipt provided by Huang show the CTSA paid NT$1,200 for each athletes’ uniform and claimed they were for the Japan Open Swimming Championship in May that year.

Huang also provided photographs of another receipt from Olymate that the association used to apply for NT$30,000 to cover the cost of uniforms for the Hong Kong Age Group Long Course Swimming Championships in July 2016.

The receipt shows each uniform cost NT$1,200.

“When these receipts were produced, the uniforms did not even exist. They simply used fake receipts to apply for money,” Huang said.

At both events, athletes wore free jackets provided by sportswear company Mizuno, he said, adding that the photographs were provided by athletes.

There is clear evidence of graft, he said, calling on the administration to investigate the case and put an end to such corruption.

“I want to ask the association: Are athletes just money-making tools to you?” swimmer Jason Tang (唐聖捷) said at the news conference. “As an athlete, I had high hopes for the government’s sports reform plans and have put a lot of effort into it, but so far little has improved. My heart feels very heavy because this reform has failed the nation’s athletes.”

NPP Legislator Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明) said the uniform issue was “only the tip of the iceberg.”

CTSA president Tony Hsu (許東雄) allegedly received pay in January for serving as a judge at two swimming competitions which were simultaneously in Taipei and Nantou County, but the Sports Administration has not punished him, Hsu Yung-ming said.

“The situation is worrying, because these might not be isolated incidents. There could be a whole illegal network allowing many people to misappropriate money from the government and athletes,” he said.

Tony Hsu yesterday rejected the accusations, saying that he has not been in contact with Mizuno since he became CTSA president.

He said the receipts were not fake, adding that the purchased uniforms had already been given to athletes and coaches.

Additional reporting by Liang Wei-ming

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