French prosecutors widen IAAF World Championships probe

French prosecutors who are investigating allegations of wrongdoing in relation to the award of the 2021 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships to Eugene in the US are also looking into the award of other hosting rights, a source close to the probe has told the Reuters news agency.

The investigation has been expanded to include the award of the championships to Moscow in 2013, Beijing in 2015, London in 2017 and Doha in 2019, the report said. There are already investigations being carried out into the award of the 2016 and 2020 summer Olympic Games to Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo.

“Six current or former members of the International Olympic Committee are suspected of receiving payments in exchange for their votes on sporting events,” the source told Reuters.

The six include Frank Fredericks, who quit last week as the head of the evaluation team for bids to the 2024 summer Olympics, and former IAAF president Lamine Diack, who is already being investigated on allegations of corruption in relation to the Russian doping scandal. The source added that Diack and his son, Papa Massata Diack, were “at the heart of the inquiry.”

Fredericks, who has denied any wrongdoing, has insisted that a payment he received from Papa Massata Diack on the day of the vote to select the 2016 Olympics host was for promoting athletics in Africa.

“The investigation goes back to Stuttgart,” the source added, referring to the World Athletics Final, the discontinued end-of-season finale that the German city hosted from 2006 to 2008.