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French Prosecutors Investigating Bribery Claims for Tokyo 2020 Olympics

It might be easier to start keeping track of what global sports operations *aren't* corrupt.

Sean Newell

French prosecutors are investigating a possible link between Tokyo's 2020 Olympic bid and a $2 million payment allegedly made to Papa Massata Diack, the son of former IAAF president and IOC member Lamine Diack. The elder Diack hired his son as a marketing consultant for the IAAF, and later resigned his position at the IOC not long after the 2013 vote that awarded Tokyo the 2020 Olympic games.

The investigation into the Tokyo bid began thanks to a footnote in WADA's report on corruption in the International Association of Athletics Federations under Diack's tenure. The footnote referenced transcripts of conversations between Turkish officials and Diack's other son Khalil, and implied that Istanbul lost out on the bid because they failed to pay "sponsorship moneys" while the Japanese did.

Transcripts of the various discussions between Turkish individuals with KD 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 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 IOC did not investigate this matter further for it was not within our remit

French prosecutors announced in March that they would be adding this allegation to their ongoing investigation into corruption and it appears a $2 million payment was made from a Japanese bank account and sent to a company in Singapore called Black Tidings, owned by a very close associate of Papa Massata Diack (PMD) named Ian Tan Tong Han. As detailed in the WADA report, IAAF officials were able to recognize him "because of his constant accompaniment of PMD." The WADA report also mentions that "Black Tidings" means "Black Marketing, or to Launder Black Money" in Hindi. If that's a little too on the nose for you, here's what the French investigation turned up:

A statement said the French "National Financial Prosecution service was informed of two financial movements alleged to have been carried out in July and October 2013".

The money was labelled as 'Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Bid', coming from an account opened at a Japanese bank, for the profit of the 'Black Tidings' company in Singapore.

The statement added that payments "so close to the International Olympic Committee's designation of the organising city for the 2020 Olympic Games, important parallel purchases by Black Tidings in Paris", and other related issues had sparked a new inquiry.

They were barely even trying to hide it.

All the parties involved naturally deny the allegations. Papa Massata Diack said he and his father were innocent, and a spokeswoman for the Tokyo bid said the WADA footnote was "beyond our understanding," then doubled down, saying the bid represented "Japan's commitment to address issues around the integrity of sport."

[BBC]