TOKYO (AP) — Tsunekazu Takeda, the president of the Japanese Olympic Committee, is resigning amid a bribery scandal that investigators suspect helped Tokyo land next year’s Olympics.
Takeda announced Tuesday he will stand down when his term ends in June, but he denied corruption allegations against him.
Takeda is also a powerful International Olympic Committee member and the head of its marketing commission. He holds the IOC spot by virtue of the Japanese presidency.
The scandal has cast a shadow over next year’s Olympics and underlines flawed efforts by the IOC to clean up its bidding process. Japan is spending at least $20 billion to organize the games, which open July 24, 2020.
The organization of the last Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro was chaotic from start to finish and ended eventually with the arrest of organizing committee president — and Brazilian Olympic Committee president — Carlos Nuzman in a similar vote-buying scandal.
The favorite to replace Takeda is Yasuhiro Yamashita, a judo gold medalist in the 1984 Olympics.