Head of Japan's Olympic Committee indicted in France over corruption allegations

  • Head of Japan's Olympic Committee indicted in France over corruption allegations

Head of Japan's Olympic Committee indicted in France over corruption allegations

Tsunekazu Takeda, 71, was indicted on 10 December by investigating magistrates looking into a suspect payment of 2.8 million Singapore dollars ($2.3 million) made before the Japanese capital was chosen to host the Olympics, a French judicial source said on Friday.

Takeda, however, has denied the report.

"No restrictions have been placed upon me".

The IOC statement added that new rules passed since 2013 mean all consultants used by bidding teams now must follow strict ethical and governance guidelines. The questioning took place at the request of French authorities, Kyodo News agency reported at the time.

"It is extremely unfortunate if things untrue are reported".

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, now 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.

Le Monde said the magistrate overseeing the probe, Renaud Van Ruymbeke, suspects the International Olympic Committee vote for Tokyo in 2013 was swayed by secret deals that secured the backing of International Olympic Committee members from Africa for the Japanese capital.

Madrid were eliminated in the first round.

Takeda was probed in 2017 by Japanese prosecutors in relation to those payments.

"The case is causing tremendous concern among the people who are supporting the Tokyo Games, but I will continue to cooperate in the investigation in order to clear any suspicion of me", Takeda said.

Tsunekazu Takeda, who is also the International Olympic Committee's marketing chair, was placed under formal investigation for corruption on December 10.

In a statement, the IOC said: "The IOC Ethics commission has opened a file and will continue to monitor the situation. Mr. Takeda continues to enjoy the full presumption of innocence", said a spokesperson.

"These allegations refer to events before the International Olympic Committee introduced far reaching reforms".

"Candidate cities can only hire consultants that are on the list".

Diack was at the centre of a number of corruption scandals during his tenure as IAAF president.

"In 2015, the International Olympic Committee provisionally suspended Mr Diack who then within 24 hours himself resigned as an honorary member".

In a letter sent to Senegalese President Macky Sall on 16 November, which AFP has seen, Bach said investigating magistrate Renaud van Ruymbeke "told us of the difficulties he has come up against in the execution of the two investigation letters addressed to the Minister of Justice of Senegal".

Takeda, a two-time Olympian in equestrian and the great-grandson of Japan's Emperor Meiji, was president of the Tokyo bid and remains vice-president of Tokyo 2020's organising committee.

He has served as head of the IOC's influential Marketing Commission since 2014 and in 2017 was granted an age limit exemption to remain a member beyond his 70th birthday previous year.

The IOC ethics commission is scheduled to meet later Friday in Lausanne, Switzerland.

In Takeda's Olympic career, he has led a national Olympic committee, been a vice president of sport's governing body, a chef de mission for Olympic teams, a sports director for a Winter Olympics - Nagano in 1998 - a Summer Games bid leader, an IOC member since 2012 and now chair of one of the most financially significant IOC panels.