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Dae-Sung Moon??s Plagiarism Scandal. All? or Nothing?

?? Dae-Sung Moon is surrounded by reporters in the National Assembly.

IOC member Dae-Sung Moon was elected as assemblyman in the 19th Korean National Assembly elections, but the plagiarism scandal around his PhD thesis is quickly spreading out.

Dae-Sung Moon ran for the National Assembly elections on April 11th as candidate for Saenuri Party (NFP) in Busan and got elected.

During the campaign some suspicions about the candidate plagiarizing his PhD thesis were raised, but it did not have a big impact in the results of the elections. However, after his election, the scandal has not disappeared but is even growing.

After an investigation carried out by Kookmin University, where Dae-Sung Moon got his PhD, the university announced that the thesis was plagiarized. Thus Dae-Sung Moon presented his secession from Saenuri Party.

However the scandal is not disappearing. Moon is currently holding his positions as assemblyman, professor at Dong-A University and IOC member.

Even if he defected from his political party, he has still got his position as assemblyman. The same applies to the position as professor that he had before the elections at Dong-A University. Moreover, he is still holding his membership as one of the only 2 Korean IOC members.

It is difficult to predict how long he will be able to hold all these positions in this situation.

There are voices claiming that Moon should also step down from his position as assemblyman. However, since he presented his secession from his party, he cannot be forced to resign from the Korean Assembly.

The IOC also decided to carry out an investigation. Information related to Moon’s thesis from Kookmin University was sent to the IOC for the Ethics Committee to examine it. If it is decided that Moon has harmed the IOC’s image as a member, the IOC might take disciplinary action against him.

A similar situation occurred to Pál Schmitt, former Hungarian sportsman and President, who is also an IOC member. Similarly to Moon, there was a plagiarism scandal about his PhD thesis and thus he decided to resign as Hungarian President.

It is expected that the IOC Ethics Committee will carry out the investigation for both cases at the same time. So far, there are no cases of disciplinary actions against IOC members due to thesis plagiarism in the IOC. Therefore the international community will be curious about the decision made by the IOC Ethics Committee about the two cases. 

Lastly, there are also doubts about Moon’s position in the academia. If eventually his PhD thesis is canceled, his position as professor could become difficult as well. 

Moon is also a member of the WTF executive committee. The WTF is currently avoiding to make any comments about Dae-Sung Moon. However, according to an important member of the federation, if the IOC decides to suspend his membership, it will affect his qualifications as WTF executive committee member.

Dae-Sung Moon clinched a Gold medal at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games with an impressive duit-chagi and became a worldwide Taekwondo hero. However, he is in the verge of losing everything he gained so far.   

<WTM>

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