Takeda questioned over payments made by Tokyo bid team
TOKYO (AP) Tokyo prosecutors have questioned the president of the Japanese Olympic Committee over allegations that dubious payments were made by the bid team for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Tsunekazu Takeda said that he was questioned last week and that he told prosecutors what he ''has said so far,'' indicating that he denied any wrongdoing, Kyodo news agency reported Wednesday.
The questioning of Takeda and others involved in the bid was voluntary and conducted at the request of French authorities who have been looking into payments worth more than $2.2 million paid by Tokyo's bid team to Singaporean consultancy, Black Tidings, prior to winning the bid for the 2020 Games in September 2013.
Black Tidings was headed by Ian Tan Tong Hon, who is known to be close to Papa Massata Diack, son of disgraced former International Association of Athletics Federations President Lamine Diack.
The Tokyo team's payments were suspected to have been directed toward the elder Diack, who as a member of the International Olympic Committee at the time had a vote in deciding the host city for the 2020 Games.
An independent panel commissioned by the JOC last September found nothing illegal in the payment.
The panel concluded that Tokyo bid executives had no knowledge of the link between Tan and Papa Massata Diack, and that Tan was in a position to gain access to secret information regarding the host city bid and certified that the contract yielded solid results.
The French probe into the 2020 Olympic bidding process has put heavy pressure on Tokyo organizers and the IOC.