Head of Japan's Olympic Committee indicted in France for corruption

Gabriel Bouys, AFP | Tsunekazu Takeda has been indicted by investigative judges looking into a suspect payment made before Japan was chosen to host the 2020 Olympics.

The president of Japan's Olympic Committee, Tsunekazu Takeda, has been indicted in France on corruption allegations, a judicial source confirmed on Friday.


Takeda was indicted on December 10 by investigative judges looking into a suspect payment of two million euros ($2.3 million) made before the Japanese capital was chosen to host the Olympics.

Tokyo won the vote in 2013, defeating rival bids by Istanbul and Madrid.

In 2016, French prosecutors announced an investigation into payments made by the Japanese bidding committee to a Singaporean consultancy firm, Black Tidings, during the bidding for the 2020 games.

Takeda was questioned in 2017 by Japanese prosecutors in relation to those payments. The questioning took place at the request of French authorities, Kyodo News agency reported at the time.

Black Tidings is headed by Ian Tan Tong Hon, who is known to be friends with Senegalese marketing advisor Papa Massata Diack, the son of disgraced former international athletics chief Lamine Diack.

Last month, IOC president Thomas Bach formally requested that Senegal cooperate with French judicial authorities investigating corruption at the heart of international athletics.

In a letter seen by AFP sent to the Senegalese President Macky Sall on November 16, Bach said that 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".

Massa Diack has been on Interpol's most wanted list since December 2015 but the Senegalese government refuses to extradite him to France.

Japan’s hosting of the Summer Games has been mired in setbacks, including an overhaul of the stadium design, which was abandoned in response to public anger over soaring costs, and plagiarism allegations over its original logo.

The Japanese Olympic Committee and the Tokyo 2020 organising body both declined to comment on Friday when quizzed about Takeda's indictment.


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