French investigators have announced they are looking deeper into allegations of corruption in the bidding and voting processes for the Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games as well as that of other upcoming contests.
Originally French authorities only looked into possible corruption at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). They made several arrests in that case. But now it appears the investigators look farther afield than the IAAF.
It appears now authorities investigate the bidding process that ended in the awards of the 2016 and 2020 games.
According to The Guardian, former IAAF president Lamine Diack allegedly arranged for “parcels” to be delivered to members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) during the time when Rio and Tokyo were awarded their respective games and especially during the time Qatar remained in the running.
Investigators try to determine whether or not Diack acted as a conduit for bribes, or an intermediary between any of the cities bidding for the games and a group of IOC members noted in a series of emails uncovered by investigators.
Diack has been under investigation for taking bribes since last year when he was arrested in December for taking a bribe of one million Euros in order to suppress positive drug tests and attempting to interfere in sanctioning of Russian athletes.
That wasn’t the only consequences Diack faced over the allegations. A WADA report came out earlier this year claiming Diack was “responsible for organizing and enabling” corruption at IAAF. Diack also resigned as an honorary member of IOC over the controversy. The IAAF also lost its sponsorship from sportswear giant Adidas over the doping scandal.
French investigators also look into allegations of bribery involved in the bidding for the 2017 World Athletics Championships awarded to London, the 2019 contest awarded to Doha, as well as the championships awarded to Eugene, Oregon.
Despite all this, an IOC spokesman said there is no evidence at all to support allegations of bribery in the selection process.
“The IOC has been in close contact with the French prosecutors since the beginning of this investigation last year,” the IOC statement reads. “The IOC’s chief ethics and compliance officer had already asked for the IOC to be fully informed in a timely manner of all issues that may refer to Olympic matters and has already applied to become a party to the investigations led by the French judicial authorities.”
IOC spokesman Mark Adams added “there is no evidence” to prove any allegations and said the IOC has the proper ethics committees in place to prevent such things.
“It is any easy thing to talk about, but no one has any evidence. There is nothing that has been put forward to us. At the moment, there is nothing to act on,” he said.
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