Xiao Tian has been stripped of all duties in China after violating rules related to "political discipline" ©Getty Images

Leading International Basketball Federation (FIBA) official Xiao Tian has been charged for offences related to corruption in China, meaning he will be stripped of all official duties as well as membership of the ruling Chinese Communist Party.

It emerged in June that Tian, who was elected FIBA vice-president last year and also served in the same position in the Chinese Olympic Committee, was under investigation by China's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.

This was for "serious breaches of discipline and the law", a term generally seen as code for corruption charges.

The internal disciplinary body announced today that he indeed violated political disciplines and rules, claiming he took bribes and sought benefits for others, tried to transfer illicit gains and hindered investigations.

He is also accused of hiring and promoting his wife, a violation of personnel rules, while accepting bribes and other incentives including golf sessions from private business people.

The official, who also headed the Chinese Basketball Association and held a Government rank equivalent to Deputy Sports Minister, and served as China's deputy Chef de Mission at the London 2012 and Sochi 2014 Olympic Games, will be stripped of all of these positions and now faces criminal punishment.

Xiao Tian speaking as deputy Chef de Mission of the Chinese team at the London 2012 Olympic Games ©Getty Images
Xiao Tian speaking as deputy Chef de Mission of the Chinese team at the London 2012 Olympic Games ©Getty Images

This marks the latest in a series of high profile charges under President Xi Jinping, who prioritised reducing corruption problems endemic at all levels of Chinese society, with sport one area under particular scrutiny due to the vast sums of money invested, 

In a statement sent to insidethegames today, FIBA confirmed how Tian is currently suspended from all activity within the governing body, with his permanent removal now appearing likely.

"FIBA has taken note of the fact that Mr Xiao Tian will be prosecuted for corruption in China," they said.

"This prosecution appears to be linked to his position as deputy head of the General Administration of Sport of his country.

"While elected vice-president during the Central Board meeting in September 2014 in Sevilla Spain, Mr. Xiao Tian has not participated in any meeting with FIBA.

"Therefore, Mr. Xiao Tian has not been active for FIBA as its vice-president or in any other capacity.

"Following the opening of the investigation in June, Mr. Xiao Tian has been suspended from its functions in FIBA at the last Central Board meeting held in Tokyo on August 7 to 9."

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