Agence France-Presse reported that French financial prosecutors are investigating the bidding and voting process for the 2016 Rio and 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The same prosecutors who investigated corruption in the International Association of Athletics Federations(IAAF) last year have now turned their attention to possible corruption in awarding of the games to Rio and Tokyo. World Anti-Doping Agency suggested in January that Japanese officials allegedly paid several million dollars to the IAAF to influence the organization’s former president Lamine Diack, 82, who headed the IAAF for 15 years, to vote in favour of Tokyo instead of Istanbul for the 2020 games. Britain’s Guardian newspaper was the first to expose these allegations. The Japanese Olympic Committee has denied these allegations.
International Olympic Committee(IOC) claimed that it had cleaned up its bidding process after the bribery scandal in 1999 that marred the Salt Lake City winter games. An IOC spokesman in Lausanne insisted that there was no evidence so far and that the committee would remain in close contact with French justice over the case.
Lamine Diack faces criminal charges in France over allegations that he took one million euros ($1.1 million) in bribes from Russian athletes and officials to cover up failed drug tests. He also faces charges corruption, money laundering and conspiracy. Papa Massata Diack, the son of the former IAAF president Lamine Diack, was a marketing consultant for IAAF. He was banned for life from the sport last month in a bribery and extortion case involving Russian doping.
As a result of the doping scandal, Adidas, the IAAF’s biggest sponsor, announced that it was terminating its sponsorship four years ahead of the original termination date of 2019. Following Adidas, Nestle also ended its sponsorship of the IAAF.
IAAF president Sebastian Coe, stepped down from his role as a Nike ambassador which he held for 38 years, after being accused of lobbying Lamine Diack to hand the 2021 World Championships to Eugene(the home of Nike). French prosecutors are also investigating into the bidding process for the 2021 World Athletics Championships.