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Two Adidas employees out in China corruption probe

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Hong Kong CNN —

Two employees have left Adidas as a result of an ongoing investigation by the German sportswear brand into allegations of corruption in China.

Adidas said last weekthat it was investigating “compliance violations” in China, a key market for its sportswear, after Chinese state media reported that the company’sexecutivesin the country had been accused of embezzling millions of euros and taking huge kickbacks.

“While Adidas is investigating this matter together with independent external advisers, evidence has been found that in the interaction with local vendors, one employee violated the company’s code of conduct,” Claudia Lange, head of media relations at the apparel giant, said in a statement Wednesday.

“Separately, a second employee failed to meet the company’s leadership expectations of demonstrating mutual respect and trust,” she said, adding that both had left the company and that the investigation continues.

Chinese state media outletEconomic View reported Wednesday that both former employees had worked in marketing for Adidas China.

The allegations against Adidas executiveswere contained in an unsigned letter from peoplecalling themselves employees of Adidas China. The letter was widely publicized online earlier this month and reported by state media outlet Jiemian.

Jiemian wrote that the letter had been sent directly to the company’s German headquarters before being shared on social media.

Lange told CNN last week that Adidas hadreceived an anonymous letter on June 7 “indicating potential compliance violations in China.”

The reported