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Resignation of Japan Olympics chief unavoidable: sources

  • March 15, 2019
  • , Kyodo News , 1:20 p.m.
  • English Press

TOKYO — The resignation of Japanese Olympic Committee President Tsunekazu Takeda is unavoidable, sources close to the matter said Friday, due to a continuing investigation by French authorities into bribery allegations related to Tokyo’s bid for the 2020 Olympics.

 

The 71-year-old president is unlikely to extend his term at the JOC’s executive elections slated for June and July, the sources said. Before the corruption scandal surfaced, he was expected to secure an 11th term, with the JOC reconsidering its retirement policies.

 

The next JOC board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday.

 

Takeda was re-elected as the vice president of the Olympic Council of Asia earlier this month, despite concerns among the JOC and Tokyo Olympic organizers that his case is tarnishing the image of the 2020 Games.

 

Takeda, who has denied any wrongdoing, has served as the JOC president since 2001, and he is currently in his 10th two-year term.

 

He is being investigated by French authorities over some $2 million of payments made by Japan’s bid committee in 2013 to the now-defunct Singapore-based consultancy Black Tidings, owned by Tan Tong Han.

 

Tan is known to be close to Papa Massata Diack, the son of Senegalese businessman Lamine Diack, who was a powerful member of the International Olympic Committee at the time of the alleged payments. French investigators suspect the money paid by Japan’s bid committee went to the son.

 

Takeda was indicted in France for “active corruption” in December last year. In January, in a press conference that lasted less than 10 minutes, he denied the charges against him for allegedly purchasing votes that led to Tokyo’s successful bid in 2013.

 

The Japanese capital beat Madrid and Istanbul for the right to host the games.

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