Gwangju and Budapest were today awarded hosting rights to swimming's FINA World Championships in 2019 and 2021, respectively, although it has emerged that there was some controversy over the bid from the South Korean city.
Gwangju, Budapest, the Hungarian capital, Baku in Azerbaijan and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates had all submitted bids for the 2019 championships, although FINA, swimming's world governing body, had said it would additionally award the 2021 event to one of the four cities if the bids were acceptable.
It was revealed yesterday that Kang Un-tae, the mayor of Gwangju, will face criminal charges after he allegedly forged signatures of former prime minister Kim Hwang-sik and former culture minister Choe Kwang-sik in the bid document submitted to FINA last year that included financial guarantees from the government for the championships.
An official within Korea's ministry of culture, sports and tourism told South Korea's Yonhap News Agency: "These signatures... have been forged. Regardless of the result of the  bidding race, we will charge the mayor with forgery of an official document."
It is thought that FINA was made aware of the forged documents in April during a meeting with the current prime minister Chung Hong-won as part of its on-site due diligence on the bid city, and that a legitimate replacement document was subsequently submitted last month with the government guarantees stated.
A South Korean city looking to stage an international sporting event that requires at least 1 billion won ($895,000) in government support must pass separate reviews by both the Korean Olympic Committee and the central government. The Gwangju 2019 bid cleared both hurdles.
Meanwhile, FINA has announced that Guadalajara could be stripped of hosting the 2017 World Championships, with the event to be moved to another Mexican city. No reason was given for the potential switch.
Kazan in Russia will stage the 2015 World Championships.