Despite reports in leading French media outlets, Japanese Olympic Committee President Tsunekazu Takeda has denied being indicted in France on corruption charges related to Tokyo’s winning 2020 Olympic bid.
“I have not been indicted,” Takeda told Japanese outlet Kyodo today, January 11th. “No restrictions have been placed upon me. We have heard nothing new from the investigative team.”
An investigation by French authorities has been going on for over 2 years, with Takeda at the center. The Tokyo 2020 bid committee allegedly paid large sums of money to the tune of 200 million yen ($1.8 million USD) to a Singapore-based Black Tidings’ bank account for ‘consulting’. (Kyodo)
Per Inside the Games, the account holder has been closely tied to Papa Massata Diack, son of the disgraced former International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) President Lamine Diack, currently being held in France and facing corruption charges.
A spokesman for the office of the Japanese minister in charge of the Olympics, Yoshitaka Sakurada, on Friday declined to comment about the case. “We can’t comment as we have not been informed about the case,” the spokesman told The Straits Times.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said in a statement also today, “The IOC is ‘partie civile’ in this investigation and has been in close contact with the French judicial authorities.
“The IOC Ethics Commission has opened a file and will continue to monitor the situation – and is meeting today.
“Mr Takeda continues to enjoy the full presumption of innocence. These allegations refer to events before the IOC introduced far reaching reforms.
“With the reforms of Olympic Agenda 2020 the IOC reinforced its code of ethics and introduced an approved list of consultants.
“In order to be on the list the consultants have to declare that they respect the strict IOC rules on governance and ethics, and in particular anti-corruption.
“Candidate cities can only hire consultants that are on the list.
“As for the former President of the IAAF, Mr Diack no longer holds any position within the IOC.
“In 2015, the IOC provisionally suspended Mr Diack who then within 24 hours himself resigned as an honorary member.
“We continue to keep close contact with the judiciary authorities and the IOC President has even sent a letter to the President of Senegal to ask him for full cooperation, something to which President Macky Sall agreed.”