A new political row has broken out in South Korea claiming that Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee received a special pardon in 2009 so he could play a crucial role in Pyeongchang's successful bid for the 2018 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in return for financially helping a company with links to the country's President at the time, Lee Myung-bak.
Lee Kun-hee had been found guilty in 2008 of being responsible for a Samsung slush fund used to bribe influential prosecutors, judges and political figures in South Korea.
A court in Seoul fined him 110 billion won (£75 million/$102 million/€83 million) and sentenced him to a three years suspended jail term.
As a result of the sentence, Lee was suspended by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), where he had been a member since 1996.
There were fears the decision to suspend him could harm Pyeongchang's bid for the 2018 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games and pressure was reportedly placed on the President to overturn the guilty verdict.
He granted Lee the pardon in 2009 and in February 2010, on the eve of the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, his IOC membership was restored.
But only after the IOC Ethics Commission ruled that Lee should be given a reprimand because he had "tarnished the reputation of the Olympic Movement".
Lee was also banned from serving on any IOC Commissions for a period of five years.
After his suspension was lifted, Lee went on to play a leading role in the Pyeongchang 2018 bid and they were awarded the Games at the IOC Session in Durban in July 2011 when they were chosen ahead of Munich and Annecy.
South Korean prosecutors are now investigating allegations that Samsung had paid billions of won in litigation fees on behalf of DAS, the local auto firm that is suspected to have created a a multi-billion-won slush fund for Lee, President of South Korea between 2008 and 2013.
DAS' majority stake is held by a brother of Myung-bak but there have been reports that the former President is its real owner.
A spokesman for former President Lee has defended his role in the scandal and denied any wrong-doing.
"It is malicious that [people] link this case to the pardon of chairman Lee," he said.
"At the time, people from various walks of life, including seniors from sports circles and ruling and opposition lawmakers, strongly recommended the pardon, and there was also public consensus on the matter."
Lee, 76, has been in hospital since May 2014 following a heart attack and he stood down as an IOC member in August 2017.