China sacks top sports official before Winter Olympics vote

Skiing enthusiasts stand in front of a sign for Beijing's bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics logo at a ski resort on January 17, 2015 in Zhangjiakou, Hebei Province, China.

(CNN)Weeks before the host of the 2022 Winter Olympics is chosen, China has sacked one of its top sporting officials.

Xiao Tian has been removed from his post as the deputy director of the General Administration of Sport (GAS), the Ministry of Human Resources said on its website Thursday.
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He was under investigation for corruption, the Chinese Communist Party's discipline watchdog announced June 25.
China's leadership has been staging a massive campaign against official corruption, long a lightning rod for the Chinese public's discontent with the government.

    Public face

    Xiao is also a vice chairman of China's national Olympic committee, and was often its public face.
    Beijing is competing with Almaty, Kazakhstan for the winter games and a decision will be made by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on July 31.
    Japan is the only Asian country to have hosted the Winter Olympics, in Sapporo (1972) and Nagano (1998).
    Beijing would stage the ice events, while snow-based competitions would take place in Zhangjiakou, in neighboring Hebei province.