A report released by the Japanese Olympic Committee Thursday concluded that payments made by the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Bid Committee (JOC) to Singapore-based Black Tidings both before and after the City was elected to host the Games did not amount to a bribe.
In 2013 two payments amounting to (USD) $2 million were made to the firm linked to Papa Massata Diack for consulting services that were later reported to be “lobbying” on behalf of the bid. Diack is the son of disgraced former International Olympic Committee (IOC) member and International Athletics Federation (IAAF) President Lamine Diack who has faced corruption charges in connection with his roles.
The investigation, however, establishes that “there was no one (in the Japanese bid committee) who knew Mr Tan was close to Mr Papa Massata Diack” when Tokyo 2020 hired the consultant, Yoshihisa Hayakawa, the lawyer who led the investigation said according to AFP.
“The investigation concludes that (the bid committee’s deals) are not in violation of any of the laws of Japan,” the panel’s report said.
“In addition, the investigation team concludes that it does not form any crime under the penal code of France, and furthermore, that no violation of the IOC code of ethics can be found.
“What was most important for the team was to probe whether the bid committee in fact bribed someone.
“We think the investigation cleared the group of any suspicion in this regard.
“As a team without authority for compulsory investigation, we have done all we can within our ability.”
Hayakawa backpedaled though by stressing that lack of interviews with principal people in the investigation, including the Diacks and the head of the since-dissolved consulting company, may have hindered the results.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Organizing Committee on behalf of the former bid committee have denied any wrongdoing, insisting that it followed all IOC rules leading to Japan’s bid election victory in Buenos Aires, Argentina on September 7, 2013.
Suspicions first surfaced in January in a footnote of a report from French Prosecutors over a cover-up involving the IAAF and an alleged doping cover-up conspiracy.
“Transcripts of the various discussions between Turkish individuals with KD make reference to a discussion regarding the Olympic city bidding process for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games,” a footnote on page 36 of WADA’s commission report read.
KD references Khalil Diack, son of former International Olympic Committee (IOC) member and IAAF President Lamine Diack (LD).
The report continues “it is stated that Turkey lost LD’s support because they did not pay sponsorship moneys of $ 4 to 5 million either to the Diamond League or IAAF.”
“According the transcript the Japanese did pay such a sum. The 2020 Games were awarded to Tokyo.”
A senior producer and award-winning journalist covering Olympic bid business as founder of GamesBids.com as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. Robert Livingstone is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians.