Japanese Olympic Committee President indicted on corruption charges in France

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Here we go again. Papa Massata Diack, formerly in charge of marketing with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and his father Lamine Diack, who is the former president of the IAAF is now being closely linked to a bribe scandal regarding the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

The two Senegalese have already been charged with crimes to do with bribery regarding other events and the latter to do with extorting athletes who tested positive for performance enhancing drugs as well as other charges over his 16-year career as president.

Now the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) President Tsunekazu Takeda has been indicted on charges of corruption in France linked to Tokyo’s successful bid for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

One wonders if the JOC is now regretting the removal of mandatory retirement at age 70, so that Takeda can stay on.

From Inside the Games

According to leading French newspaper Le Monde, Takeda, a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and who led the Tokyo 2020 bid, is suspected of authorising the payment of bribes in order to help the Japanese capital secure the hosting rights for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The 71-year-old, born the third son of Prince Tsuneyoshi Takeda and who is the great-grandson of the Emperor Meiji, who ruled Japan from 1867 until his death in 1912, was indicted by the national financial prosecutor’s office in Paris last month, Reuters reported.

Takeda, however, has denied the report.

“I have not been indicted,” Takeda told Japanese agency Kyodo News.

“No restrictions have been placed upon me.

“We have heard nothing new from the investigative team.

“It is extremely unfortunate if things untrue are reported.”

In a statement, the IOC Ethics Commission, which is holding a meeting here today, had opened a file on Takeda but claimed the Japanese official “continues to enjoy the full presumption of innocence”.

Takeda is being investigated for “active corruption”, according to Le Monde, regarding payments worth $2 million (£1.5 million/€1.75 million) made to Singaporean company Black Tidings before Tokyo was awarded the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics at the IOC Session in Buenos Aires in 2013.

The account holder has been closely tied to Papa Massata Diack, son of the disgraced former International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) President Lamine Diack, currently being held in France and facing corruption charges.

It is alleged the payments were directed to the elder Diack, with authorities in France suspecting corruption or money laundering by an unknown person.

Tokyo, the winner of the first round of the 2020 vote, defeated Istanbul by 60 votes to 36 in the second ballot.

Madrid were eliminated in the first round.