Xiao Tian, pictured during the London 2012 Olympic Games, is under investigation for corruption ©Getty Images

Xiao Tian, vice-president of both the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the Chinese Olympic Committee (COC), is under investigation for “serious breaches of discipline and the law”, the Chinese Communist Party's Disciplinary body has announced.

Xiao also leads the Chinese Basketball Association and holds 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.

He was listed as being under investigation by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection in a brief statement on their website.

No other details were given at this stage but the phrase "serious breaches of discipline and the law" is generally seen as code for corruption allegations.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has 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, as well as the fact Beijing is currently bidding against Almaty to host the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics.

A decision is due to be made between the two at the International Olympic Committee Session in Kuala Lumpur on July 31.

Xiao is one of the COC's more active of its 18 vice-presidents, having acted as its spokesperson on a number of occasions, and having reportedly attended the Asian Athletics Championships in Wuhan at the beginning of this month.

Xian Tian pictured addressing the media during the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou ©AFP/Getty Images
Xian Tian pictured addressing the media during the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou ©AFP/Getty Images

He was elected as one of three FIBA vice-presidents to serve a five-year tenure at last September's Central Board meeting in Spain.

Potential disciplinary action will be discussed next week by the FIBA Executive Committee, the governing body has told insidethegames today.

"FIBA has taken note of the fact that Mr Xiao Tian has been placed under investigation in China," a statement added.

"This investigation appears to be part of the on-going national anti-corruption campaign in that country.

"Mr. Xiao Tian was elected vice-president during the last Central Board meeting in September 2014 in Sevilla, Spain and the next meeting of the Central Board will take place on August 7 to 9 in Tokyo, Japan.

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

"FIBA is waiting to receive official communication with more details from the Chinese Basketball Association and has not been contacted by the Chinese authorities.

"The FIBA Executive Committee will discuss next week further developments in this matter in line with the FIBA General Statutes and Internal Regulations."

As Chinese basketball boss, he was expected to play a leading role in the nation's bid for the 2019 FIBA World Cup, for which the Bid Book was presented to the International Federation last month.

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