Thursday, April 25

HK jails gold medal bodybuilder for bribery


HONG KONG: A gold medal-winning bodybuilder at the Doha Asian Games was sentenced to 16 months in jail yesterday for bribing his way into the event after being suspended from competition for failing a drug test.

Chan Yun-to, 43, was convicted of conspiracy in Hong Kong last week for offering US$10,000 in bribes to Paul Chua, secretary-general of the Asian Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation, to enter the Games in 2006.

Chan later won the men’s 75kg class. Chua has not been charged in the case.

In sentencing the disgraced athlete, District Court judge Susana D’Almada Remedios said that a stiff punishment was required to deter corruption.

“Corrupt offences are serious offences that warrant immediate custodial sentence,” she told a courtroom packed with family members and athletes.

The judge described graft as a “cancerous activity to a healthy society”.

Chan was sentenced along with Chan Siu-man, a former bodybuilding association chairman, who was handed a total of 10 years and six months in jail for offering the bribe and additional fraud charges. The two men are not related. — AFP

The judge ordered Chan Siu-man’s sentences to run concurrently over three years.

Justice Remedios said the duo’s acts painted a “damaging and distrustful” picture of Hong Kong athletes.

Lawyer Oliver Davies told AFP that Chan Yun-to is likely to file an appeal.

The bodybuilder and two other Hong Kong athletes were suspended from competition for two years in 2005 after failing doping tests at a South Korean competition.

The two others were granted immunity in exchange for testifying against Chan Yun-to. — AFP