Tsunekazu Takeda, the president of the Japanese Olympic Committee, has been indicted in France over allegations related to the awarding of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo, in a major blow to the IOC.
Takeda, a highly respected and influential IOC member, was one of the chief architects of the campaign that saw the Japanese capital win the hosting rights for those Games. He is also currently the vice president of Tokyo’s local organising committee.
A French judicial source confirmed to Agence France-Presse that Takeda was indicted on December 10 last year. The move was part of an investigation into two payments totalling nearly €2m ($2.3m) made to Singapore-based Black Tidings, a firm linked to Papa Massa Diack, son of the Senegalese former head of the IAAF, Lamine Diack. The payments were made in two tranches – one before and one after the awarding of the 2020 Games to Tokyo.
The younger Diack, who has been on Interpol’s most-wanted list since 2015, is suspected of having accepted millions of euros in bribes to influence IOC votes in favour of both Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo for the 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games respectively.
The case has been taken on by French prosecutors as it is suspected that the funds were laundered in France.
It is not currently clear what impact, if any, the revelation will have on the Olympic Games.