Frankie Fredericks, head of the IOC commission evaluating candidates to host the 2024 Olympics, has stepped down from his post and turned himself over to an IOC ethics commission amid an investigation into alleged bribery in the selection process for the 2016 Olympic host.
USA Today reports that an offshore company with ties to Fredericks received $299,300 back in 2009 on the same day that the IOC awarded Rio de Janeiro the right to host the 2016 Olympics. Fredericks denied any wrongdoing and claimed his innocence, but said he would submit to an investigation from the IOC ethics commission.
Fredericks said he had “personally decided that it is in the best interests of a good functioning of the International Olympic Committee candidature process that I step aside as chairperson of the 2024 evaluation commission, because it is essential that the important work my colleagues are doing is seen as being carried out in a truthful and fair manner,” Business Day reports.
Business Day‘s and USA Today‘s coverage references a report from French newspaper Le Monde which reported that Fredericks received almost $300,000 from Pamodzi Sports Consulting, an agency owned by Papa Massata Diack. Diack’s father Lamine Diack was a former head of IAAF (the international track & field federation) and both are now facing charges in France for allegedly paying bribes to cover up Russian doping scandals.
Fredericks was the head of the evaluation commission for the 2024 Olympics, which is still considering bids from several cities. French investigators are now determining whether bribery played a role in the selection of hosts for the 2016 Olympics (in Rio) and/or the 2020 Olympics (in Tokyo).
The IOC released a statement today, emphasizing the “presumption of innocence” with regard to Fredericks, but accepting his resignation and appointing Patrick Bauman as the new chair of the IOC Evaluation Commission for the 2024 Olympics.