Tokyo 2020 bid to be investigated after report of payment

Wed May 18, 2016 8:17am EDT
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TOKYO (Reuters) - A Japanese official who led the successful bid for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics said on Wednesday the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) plans to investigate the bidding after questions were raised about payments by the bid committee.

Media has reported the bid team made payments totalling more than $2 million to a Singapore bank account linked to Papa Massata Diack, son of disgraced former international athletics chief Lamine Diack.

Japanese officials have said the payments were legitimate consultant's fees.

Tsunekazu Takeda, president of the JOC and leader of the successful effort to win the Summer Games, said people involved with the bid would be questioned.

"We are setting up an investigative team that includes outside lawyers," Takeda told a parliamentary committee.

"We will once again talk with people connected to the bid at the time to ascertain whether or not there was anything illegal in the suspicions that have been raised."

Opposition lawmakers have seized on the issue, saying that a Singaporean company called Black Tidings, into whose account the Guardian newspaper said the payment was made, was a paper company.

The firm's business address is in a government housing complex in a suburban part of Singapore. A Reuters cameraman saw shoes and umbrellas in front of the address this week, but the company has no registered phone number.

Takeda said on Monday he believed it was not a paper company.   Continued...

Tokyo 2020 Emblems Selection Committee Chairperson Ryohei Miyata (R) and committee member Sadaharu Oh present the winning design of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games during its unveiling ceremony in Tokyo, Japan April 25, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Peter