26 June 2015

Xiao Tian was the Deputy Director of State General Administration of Sports. He was also a vice president of basketball’s international governing body (FIBA). He has been placed under investigation for possible corruption.

Communist Party’s anti-corruption watchdog said that Xiao Tian, who also sits on China’s Olympic committee, is being investigated for suspected “serious breaches of discipline and the law”, using a term often employed to denote corruption. The state-run China News Service said that Xiao`s wife Tian Hua, who is also an official at the administration, was also being investigated.

Xiao was a vice minister of sport responsible for basketball, one of China’s most popular sports after football.

Xiao was elected to FIBA last year.  So far, he has not had any major role. FIBA said that it was waiting for official communication from Chinese Basketball Association. Chinese authorities have not contacted FIBA yet.  It added “The FIBA Executive Committee will discuss next week further developments in this matter in line with the FIBA General Statutes and Internal Regulations.” Next board meeting of the FIBA will take place in August in Japan.

Before entering politics, Xiao was a fencer in Anhui Fencing Team. In 1977, he went to Beijing Sport University. He joined National Sports Committee of China (today’s State General Administration of Sports) in 1981. In 2005, he became the Deputy Director of State General Administration of Sports.

China’s sports bodies are in the limelight now because Beijing is competing with Almaty in Kazakhstan to host the Winter Olympic Games in 2022.

China is aggressively seeking to stamp out bribery and in the Party and government ranks. It has started investigating corruption in sports establishment, especially within football, which has been hit by match-fixing scandals.