Updated July. 25, 2008 08:53
It was confirmed yesterday that former Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee, who is also a member of the International Olympics Committee, decided not to attend the Beijing Olympic Games, which starts August 8.
It is the first time that Lee will not participate in an Olympic Games since his election as IOC member in July 1996.
Executives at Samsung Group and Samsung Electronics said that Lee made such a decision because he should participate in an appeal trial on Samsungs slush funds and that he has health problems as well.
A Samsung executive said, The prevailing perspective of the sports community was that Lee should show active participation in the Olympics since he is the only Korean IOC member. However, he had no other option, considering some other factors, including public sentiment in Korea.
Lee Jae-yong, the former chairmans son and managing director of Samsung Electronics, will participate in the launching event for Samsungs Olympic promotion center, OR@S (Olympic Rendezvous @ SAMSUNG), and the opening ceremony of the Olympics scheduled for August 5 and 8, respectively.