September 24, 2015

BEIJING (AP) A senior Chinese sports official will face criminal indictment in China in a bribery case that led basketball's governing body to suspend him as a vice president.

Xiao Tian has been stripped of membership of China's ruling party and all official duties, the party's internal disciplinary body announced Thursday.

Xiao, the former vice minister of sports responsible for basketball, was found to have violated political disciplines and rules.

World basketball body FIBA said Thursday it suspended Xiao last month at a board meeting in Tokyo.

''Following the opening of the (Chinese) investigation in June, Mr. Xiao Tian has been suspended from his functions,'' said FIBA, which did not mention the sanction in a news release issued after the board meeting.

In China, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said Xiao took bribes and sought benefits for others, tried to transfer illicit gains and hindered investigations. It said Xiao hired and promoted his wife in violation of personnel rules and accepted bribes and gifts including golf sessions from private businesspeople.

Since taking power in late 2012, Chinese President Xi Jinping has launched a broad campaign against corruption among bureaucrats and officials in government and state industry.

The commission said Xiao's acts have been particularly flagrant after the party leadership demanded frugality among its members. It said Xiao wined and dined people on the public purse and frequented private clubs.

While traveling abroad on business, Xiao also changed his itineraries and extended his trips without approval, the disciplinary group said.

The party has decided to confiscate his illicit gains and hand him over to authorities for criminal indictment.

Xiao is still listed as a member of FIBA Central Board on its website, though the governing body tried to distance itself from him Thursday.

''Xiao Tian has not participated in any meeting with FIBA,'' since his election one year ago, the Switzerland-based body said. ''Therefore, Mr. Xiao Tian has not been active for FIBA as its vice president or in any other capacity.''

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