Tokyo 2020 Olympics under scrutiny over €1.3m payment
British newspaper claims bid team made large transaction to son of disgraced athletics chief
The decision to award the 2020 Summer Olympics to Tokyo is under scrutiny after details emerged of a 1.3 million euro ($1.49 million) payment by the winning bid's team.
The payment was suspected of having been made during the Olympic bidding process in 2013, shortly before Tokyo defeated the other candidate cities – Istanbul and Madrid – according to an investigation by The Guardian newspaper.
The funds were reportedly transferred by the winning city's bid team to an account linked to the son of Lamine Diack, who was the president of world athletics and an influential honorary member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) at the time.
The newspaper reported the transaction was now being scrutinized by French police, increasing pressure for an investigation of any links between Diack and the Tokyo Olympic bid.
Diack left his world athletics role in disgrace in Nov. 2015 following allegations he accepted bribes to cover up positive doping test results by Russia.
He was subsequently accused of corruption by an independent commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency.
The Guardian previously reported that an investigation by French prosecutors into corruption in world athletics had been expanded to include the bidding and voting processes for the 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games.
The 2016 Summer Games will be held in Rio de Janeiro this summer.
Tokyo defeated Istanbul in a second round of voting for the 2020 Games by 60 votes to 36, after Madrid was eliminated in the previous round. It was the Turkish city's fifth attempt to win the Summer Olympic Games.
A spokeswoman for the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee told The Guardian: "The Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee has no means of knowing these allegations. We believe that the Games were awarded to Tokyo because the city presented the best bid."