Tokyo vote-buy­ing al­le­ga­tions sur­face

The now-de­funct Black Tid­ings had trans­ferred more than $150,000 to the per­sonal ac­count of Papa Mas­sata Di­ack

Daily Tribune (Philippines) - - SPORTS -

TOKYO, Ja­pan (AFP) — A con­sult­ing firm hired by Tokyo’s Olympic bid com­mit­tee paid some $370,000 to the son of an In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee (IOC) mem­ber be­fore and af­ter Ja­pan was picked to host the Games, re­ports said Mon­day.

The claims come as French au­thor­i­ties probe an al­leged vote-buy­ing scan­dal, cen­tring around $2 mil­lion paid by the Tokyo bid com­mit­tee to Black Tid­ings, a Sin­ga­pore-based firm linked to Sene­galese na­tional Papa Mas­sata Di­ack.

Di­ack is the son of the former head of the In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Ath­let­ics Fed­er­a­tions, (IAAF) — now re­named World Ath­let­ics — Lamine Di­ack. Lamine Di­ack was also a mem­ber of the IOC and said to have in­flu­ence over African votes at the time of the Tokyo bid in Septem­ber 2013 to host the 2020 Games, Ja­pan’s Ky­odo News said. Ac­cord­ing to Ky­odo, the now-de­funct Black Tid­ings had trans­ferred more than $150,000 to the per­sonal ac­count of Papa Mas­sata Di­ack and wired $217,000 to a com­pany run by him by Jan­uary 2014.

The find­ings, based on fi­nan­cial doc­u­ments and re­port­ing by the In­ter­na­tional Con­sor­tium of In­ves­tiga­tive Jour­nal­ists, in­clud­ing Ky­odo, may shed light on al­le­ga­tions that the Tokyo bid com­mit­tee en­gaged in vote-buy­ing, the news agency said.

In an in­ter­view with Ky­odo, Papa Mas­sata de­nied the al­le­ga­tions, say­ing the money he re­ceived was re­lated to a “spon­sor­ship deal made in China. There is noth­ing to do with the Tokyo Olympics.” Tsunekazu Takeda, former head of the Tokyo bid com­mit­tee, has also de­nied any wrong­do­ing. Last year Takeda stepped down from the head of Ja­pan’s Olympic Com­mit­tee fol­low­ing the French in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Last week Lamine Di­ack — who led the IAAF for 16 years — was found guilty by a French court of cor­rup­tion in cov­er­ing up Rus­sian dop­ing cases and sen­tenced to four years in pri­son, two of which were sus­pended.

The Tokyo Olympics and Par­a­lympics were post­poned for one year due to the coro­n­avirus pan­demic.

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