Subscriber CaaC (John)+ 5,123 Posted March 19, 2019 Subscriber Share Posted March 19, 2019 Quote Japan’s Olympic chief resigns over over corruption scandal in latest row to mar Tokyo Games Julian Ryall The embattled head of Japan’s Olympic Committee resigned on Tuesday amid a widening corruption investigation linked to Tokyo’s successful bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games. With a little over a year to go until the opening ceremony for the Games, Tsunekazu Takeda announced during a meeting of the national Olympic committee in Tokyo that he would step down when his 10th term ends in June. Mr Takeda, 71, has denied any wrongdoing in the process of bidding for the 2020 Games and said he is cooperating with an investigation led by French authorities. Mr Takeda was placed under formal investigation by France’s financial crimes office on suspicion of “active corruption” on December 10, Le Monde reported. Prosecutors suspect that the IOC vote in 2013 was swayed by secret deals that secured the support of committee members from African states for Tokyo to host the games over Istanbul or Madrid. French investigators began their probe in 2016 on suspicion that some $2 million was transferred in a series of transactions by the Tokyo Games’ bidding committee before and after the vote between a bank in Tokyo and a company in Singapore. Prosecutors have allegedly linked the company, Black Tidings, to Papa Massata Diack, one of the sons of Lamine Diack, the Senegalese national who was a member of the IOC as well as president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) between 1995 and 2001. Now 85, Mr Diack is presently being investigated in France on corruption charges and allegations that he and his son were involved in blackmailing athletes and covering up failed drug tests. Papa Massata Diack is believed to be in Senegal, but French authorities have issued a wanted notice for him through Interpol. In a phone interview with Kyodo News in December, Papa Massata Diack denied any wrongdoing or having links with Mr Takeda. He added that he had only met Mr Takeda twice - once to congratulate him for Tokyo winning the right to host the 2020 Games - and claimed that the Japanese capital’s bid was so superior to that of Istanbul that there was no need for Tokyo to pay to secure the votes it needed. Papa Massata Diack said the investigation had been triggered by a power struggle with the world of sports and is racially motivated. In statements, Mr Takeda has similarly denied any wrongdoing. “The case is causing tremendous concern among people who are supporting the Tokyo Games, but I will continue to cooperate in the investigation in order to clear myself of any suspicion”, he said. Mr Takeda has insisted that the money paid by the bidding committee was a legitimate cost for services provided by Black Tidings under a consultancy agreement. He has also denied knowing Lamine Diack. The Japanese Olympic Committee has carried out its own internal investigation into the allegations and reported that it could find no irregularities. Residents of the Japanese capital have expressed concern over the rising cost of the Games, while the local Olympic committee was forced to scrap the official logo for 2020 after a Belgian theatre accused the designer of plagiarism. The new national stadium for Tokyo 2020 was also at the centre of a plagiarism scandal, with the design form of the late British architect Dame Zaha Hadid accusing Kengo Kuma of incorporating her earlier work on the stadium into his subsequent blueprint. ttps://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/japans-olympic-chief-resigns-over-over-corruption-scandal-in-latest-row-to-mar-tokyo-games/ar-BBUX0sk?ocid=chromentp Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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