IOC says no reason to doubt Tokyo on bid payments

Thu May 26, 2016 7:13am EDT
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By Elaine Lies

TOKYO (Reuters) - The International Olympic Committee said on Thursday it saw no reason to doubt assurances from Tokyo about the legitimacy of payments made during its successful bid to host the 2020 Games.

IOC Vice-President John Coates said the IOC would not conduct its own investigation, but looked forward to the results of probes under way in France and Japan.

Tsunekazu Takeda, leader of the group that won Tokyo the Summer Games, said this month that payments of more than $2 million said to have been made to a Singapore bank account were legitimate consultancy fees, checked by auditors.

The account was controlled by a friend of Papa Massata Diack, son of disgraced former international athletics chief president Lamine Diack. French authorities are investigating Diack senior for alleged corruption, and the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) launched its own investigation into the 2020 bid process on Wednesday.

Coates, in Tokyo for meetings with Japanese Olympic planners, told a news conference that the IOC was concerned about the allegations and monitoring the two investigations.

"The IOC will follow and look forward to the report of that (JOC) investigation just as we look forward to the French investigation," he said.

"We have decided that we will not conduct a parallel investigation, we will rely on both of those, and we'll take it from there."

Asked about Takeda's assurances that the payments were based on a legitimate consultant's contract, Coates said he had not seen such a contract. "I also have no reason to doubt Mr. Takeda's statement," he said.   Continued...

International Olympic Committee (IOC) Chairman of the Coordination Commission for the Tokyo 2020 Games John Coates (L) and Japan's IOC organising committee President Yoshiro Mori leave a news conference in Tokyo, Japan, May 26, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Peter