Friday May 13th, 2016

Get breaking news and SI’s biggest stories instantly. Download the new Sports Illustrated app (iOS or Android) and personalize your experience by following your favorite teams and SI writers.

Organizers of Tokyo’s winning Olympic bid claim payments they made to a firm in Singapore during the bid process were legitimate, according to a statement from former committee members on Friday.

It surfaced in 2013, before and after Tokyo was awarded the bid for the 2020 games, that around $2 million was transferred in two parts to an account belonging to a company named Black Tidings. The account has been linked to the son of former IAAF president Lamine Diack, and also was used to transfer funds in a Russian doping cover-up. The transaction was self-proclaimed by organizers as “fair and correct.”

"The payments mentioned in the media were a legitimate consultant's fee paid to the service we received from Mr. Tan's company," former bid committee president Tsunekazu Takeda and director general Nobumuto Higuchi said in a statement on Friday, as reported by the AP. "It followed a full and proper contract and the monies were fully audited by Ernst & Young ShinNihon LLC.

"The amounts paid were in our opinion proper and adequate for the services provided and gave no cause for suspicion at the time," the statement said. "This message was conveyed to the IOC when these allegations first surfaced after a request for information from the IOC."

Diack is under investigation in France for suspected corruption and presently barred from leaving the country. His son, Papa Massata Diack, is a former IAAF marketing consultant wanted internationally for bribery, money laundering and corruption and believed to be in Senegal.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.