Tsunekazu Takeda, who is being investigated for corruption linked to Tokyo’s 2020 Games bid, is set to announce his resignation as the president of the Japanese Olympic Committee on Tuesday, sources said.
The 71-year-old has denied any wrongdoing in the bid process for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games but is expected to convey his intention to step down at the JOC board meeting.
Takeda plans to leave his post when his 10th term ends in June this year, several sources confirmed Monday. He has served as the JOC president since 2001 and was likely to be re-elected after being granted an age limit exemption beyond the 70-year-old threshold.
Former Olympic judo gold medalist Yasuhiro Yamashita and Kozo Tashima, both JOC senior executive board members, have been named as potential successors.
French investigators suspect that part of a 2.8 million Singapore dollar ($2 million) amount paid by the Tokyo Games’ bid committee to Singaporean consultancy firm Black Tidings in 2013 went to Papa Massata Diack, a Senegalese man whose father was a powerful member of the International Olympic Committee at the time.
Takeda, also an IOC member, has said the payment to the Singaporean firm was legitimate compensation based on a consultancy agreement and he will continue to cooperate with French prosecutors to clear his name.
Takeda was placed under formal investigation for “active corruption” in December last year. In January, 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.