Ailing Samsung head gives up IOC membership

Seoul (AFP) –


The bedridden head of South Korea's Samsung Group has given up his IOC membership, the Olympics governing body announced.

"The IOC EB (executive board) was informed that the family of Mr. Kun-Hee Lee has asked the IOC not to consider Mr. Lee for re-election as an IOC member" when the International Olympic Committee is due to elect nine new members at a session next month in Lima.

Lee was first elected as an IOC member in 1996. He helped to bring the 2018 Winter Games to Pyeongchang, South Korea.

"Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time during his continued illness," the IOC said in a statement Friday.

The addition of nine new members and the withdrawal of Lee would bring the total number of members to 103, it added.

In 2008, Lee voluntarily gave up his IOC membership after being indicted in a financial and tax evasion case.

Seoul pardoned him in 2009, and the IOC reinstated him in February 2010.

Lee has been laid up since suffering a heart attack in 2014.

His eldest son and heir Lee Jae-Yong has been standing trial since his arrest in February on charges of bribing the disgraced president Park Geun-Hye and her friend Choi Soon-Sil.

Prosecutors on Monday demanded a 12-year jail sentence for the junior.

The court will deliver his verdict and sentencing on August 25.