Japanese Olympic Committee chief denies corruption claims

Tsunekazu Takeda, the president of the Japanese Olympic Committee, has denied accusations of corruption levelled at him by a French investigation into the awarding of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Takeda was indicted at the end of last week over an alleged payment of almost €2m ($2.3m) made to Singapore-based Black Tidings, a firm linked to Papa Massa Diack, which French prosecutors believe was intended to swing votes in favour of Tokyo’s Olympic bid.

“I will fully cooperate with French authorities in investigating this matter and do my utmost to prove my innocence,” Takeda told a news conference in Tokyo on Tuesday, reports the Japan Times.

He also added that the JOC had undertaken its own investigation into the claims, which concluded that any dealings with Black Tidings were “legitimate”. French authorities, however, allege that at least part of the money paid to Black Tidings went to disgraced former world athletics chief Lamine Diack, the father of Papa Massata.