Tokyo’s victory in the race for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympic Games has been implicated in the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) corruption scandal after it was suggested a sponsorship payment agreed between Japan and the the world governing body may have encouraged some International Olympic Committee members to vote for it rather than rival Istanbul.
Transcripts of various discussions between unnamed Turkish officials and Khalil Diack, son of then-IAAF President and voting IOC member Lamine, seen by the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) Independent Commission make reference to a discussion regarding the Olympic bidding process.
“It is stated that Turkey lost Lamine Diack’s support because they did not pay sponsorship moneys of $4 (£2.8 million/€3.7 million) to $5 million (£3.5 million/€4.6 million) either to the Diamond League or IAAF,” the report published here today claimed.
“According [sic] the transcript the Japanese did pay such a sum.”
The incident is referred to only in the footnote of the 89-page second part of the report, along with a note that “it was not in their remit” to investigate further.
Istanbul finished runner-up behind Tokyo after losing the final round by 60 votes to 36 during the 2013 IOC Session in Buenos Aires after Madrid had been eliminated after a runoff in the first round of voting.
At one stage early in 2013, the Turkish city had been considered a leading contender, only to lose momentum in the final months of the campaign.
Popular demonstrations taking place across Istanbul in the spring and early summer were seen as a major reason for this.
Turkey’s abysmal doping record in comparison with Japan’s near flawless one was also significant.
WADA Commision chairman Richard Pound, the longest serving IOC member and two-time former vice-president who led the investigation into the Salt Lake City corruption scandal in 1999, believes there are no longer any general problems with the Olympic bidding processes following the reforms he helped draft.
He did not rule out the possibility of individual cases of wrongdoing, however.
Diack served as an IOC member from 1999 to 2013, when he became an honorary member after passing the maximum age limit of 80.
An influential figure, it is possible he may have controlled a bloc of voters who would have acted on his wishes.
The 82-year-old Senegalese was provisionally suspended as an honorary IOC member in November following his arrest as part of a French criminal investigation into the alleged acception of bribes to cover-up Russian doping failures.
He resigned shortly afterwards.
insidethegames has contacted the IOC and Tokyo 2020 for a comment to the allegations.
The report also claimed there may be “reason to believe that senior IAAF officials and others acting on their behalf may have benefited from decisions of the IAAF to award certain cities and countries the IAAF Athletics World Championships”.
IAAF President Sebastian Coe has promised to examine these allegations as part of a sweeping review of all alleged wrongdoing.
- By Nick Butler at the Dolce Munich Unterschleissheim; this article was republished with permission from the original publisher Inside the Games www.insidethegames.biz