french investigators suspect tokyo olympics corruption
Last Updated : GMT 12:45:25
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Last Updated : GMT 12:45:25
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French investigators suspect Tokyo Olympics corruption

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Emiratesvoice, emirates voice French investigators suspect Tokyo Olympics corruption

Ryohei Miyata (R), of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics logo committee
Paris - Arab Today

French investigators suspect that payments made to the son of disgraced athletics supremo Lamine Diack were to get support for Tokyo's 2020 Olympics bid, a source close to the inquiry told AFP on Thursday.

Some 1.3 million euros ($1.5 million) paid to a company owned by Papa Missata Diack is at the centre of the suspicions. Diack father and son face corruption charges in France.

The Japanese government insisted earlier on Thursday that the Tokyo bid was "clean".

The payments were made in 2013 to Black Tidings, a Singapore-based company linked to Papa Diack, who was employed by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) as a consultant.

The International Olympic Committee chose Tokyo over Istanbul and Madrid as host for the 2020 Games in 2013. Diack senior was still an IOC member at the vote.

The payments were discovered as part of an inquiry into allegations that Diack father and son organised bribes to cover up failed dope tests by Russian athletes, the source close to the inquiry said. French investigators became involved as the money may have been laundered in Paris.

There are now separate investigations into the doping bribes and suspected Olympic bid corruption for the 2016 and 2020 Games, the source said.
Lamine Diack now faces corruption and money laundering charges in France. His son is wanted by French authorities who have issued an international arrest alert through Interpol.

An IOC spokesman said in March however that there was "no evidence" at that stage of corruption in the Olympic bids.

Reacting to a report by British newspaper, The Guardian, into the French investigation, Japanese government chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga said on Thursday: "My understanding is that the bid process of the Tokyo 2020 Games was done in a clean way.

"Japan will take appropriate measures if the French justice authorities make any request", but will not question the Tokyo 2020 team based on the report, Suga added.

A report released in January by the World Anti-Doping Agency suggested that Diack's vote for 2020 may have been swayed by $5 million in sponsorship money.

A footnote in the WADA independent commission report cited transcripts of conversations between another Diack son, Khalil, and Turkish officials over the 2020 Games.

"It is stated that Turkey lost LD's (Lamine Diack's) support because they did not pay sponsorship moneys of $4-5 million either to the Diamond League or IAAF. According to the transcript the Japanese did pay such a sum," the WADA report said.

"The 2020 Games were awarded to Tokyo. The IC (independent commission) did not investigate this matter further for it was not within our remit," it added.

At the time, Tokyo 2020 spokesman Hikariko Ono called the report "beyond our understanding".

Ono made a similar comment about the new details of the French investigation.

Tokyo 2020 "has no means of knowing these allegations", Ono said in a statement to AFP. "We believe that the Games were awarded to Tokyo because the city presented the best bid."

Lamine Diack, 82, left the IOC in 2013 after the vote for the 2020 Games. He resigned as an honorary member in November after he was suspended by the IOC because of the French charges.

Diack is now banned from leaving France, as are his former legal advisor, Habib Cisse and Gabriel Dolle, the former IAAF anti-doping doctor.

Papa Diack is based in Senegal, where authorities have said he will not be extradited.

Source: AFP

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