Olympic bid scandal linked to former IOC member’s son
TOKYO (AP) — A consulting company working for the Tokyo Olympic bid committee paid about $370,000 to the son of then-influential IOC member Lamine Diack before — and after — the Japanese capital was picked in 2013 to host the 2020 Games, news agency Kyodo reported on Monday.
The payment is reported to be part of $2 million transferred by the bid committee to Black Tidings, a now shuttered consulting company based in Singapore.
Tsunekazu Takeda, the president of the Japanese Olympic Committee at the time, acknowledged signing off on the $2 million payment.
Takeda denied any wrongdoing, but the issue forced him to resign from his position in 2019 amid the looming investigation by French authorities. He also resigned from the International Olympic Committee.
Kyodo said that in an interview with the news agency, Papa Massata Diack said the money he received was from a sponsorship deal in China and had nothing to do with Tokyo.
The payments to Papa Massata Diack are new findings based on reporting by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and several news organizations, including Kyodo.
Lamine Diack, who is from Senegal, was believed to have influence over IOC members from Africa. Tokyo won the 2013 final vote of the IOC at a meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina, beating out Istanbul.
The 87-year-old Lamine Diack is the former head of the governing body of track and field, which is now known as World Athletics. He was convicted of corruption last week in France in relation to a Russian doping scandal and sentenced to two years in prison, with another two years suspended. The scheme allowed Russian athletes who paid millions in bribes to keep competing when they should have been suspended for doping.
Papa Massata Diack, Diack’s son, was also found guilty of corruption and sentenced to five years in prison in his absence. The younger Diack lives in Senegal, which didn’t extradite him.
At the trial, the judge said $15 million was funneled to Papa Massata Diack’s companies, including commissions and money creamed off contracts and the sale of TV rights and other transactions while his father was in charge of the track body.
Papa Massata Diack has denied corruption, and called the trial a conspiracy against himself and his father. Appearing at a news conference in Dakar on Monday, he also hinted he had knowledge of wrongdoing at other sports bodies, including the IOC, and would speak out against people who tarnished his father’s image.
“I know a lot of things in the world of sport,” he said, without alluding to what he meant.
The Tokyo Olympics has been postponed to next year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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