News 2 March 2016

French investigation to include Rio 2016 & Tokyo 2020

French prosecutors have widened the scope of their investigation into corruption in world athletics to include the bidding and voting process for the Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, reports The Guardian. The French investigation initially focussed on corruption within the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) in connection with the alleged covering up of doping positives. However, since the arrest of former IAAF President Lamine Diack in November last year, it has broadened to include the award of the the 2021 World Athletics Championships to Eugene, Oregon; allegations of corruption in connection to the 2006 IAAF Athletics World Cup; allegations concerning the award of the 2017 World Athletics Championships to London and the 2019 edition to Doha.

Now it also concerns the awarding of Olympic events. “The IOC has done as much as any organisation can do to address the issue of corruption”, said IOC President Thomas Bach at a press conference today. It is understood that the new branch of the investigation will probe allegations that Lamine Diack’s son, Papa Massata Diack, arranged for ‘parcels’ to be delivered to key members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) during the 2009 bidding and voting process for the 2016 Olympics. It is understood that the 2013 bidding and voting process for Tokyo 2020 is being investigated due to a footnote in the second part of the Independent Commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) report into allegations of corruption at the IAAF, published in January.

‘There may be reason to believe that senior IAAF officials and others acting on their behalf may have benefitted from decisions of the IAAF to award certain cities and countries the IAAF Athletics World Championships’, it read, however linked to a footnote which read: ‘Transcripts of the various discussions between Turkish individuals with KD [Khalil Diack] make reference to a discussion regarding the Olympic city bidding process for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games. It is stated that Turkey lost LD’s [Lamine Diack] support because they did not pay sponsorship moneys of $ 4 to 5 million either to the Diamond League or IAAF. According the transcript the Japanese did pay such a sum. The 2020 Games were awarded to Tokyo. The IC did not investigate this matter further for it was not within our remit.’

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