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Wednesday, May 18, 2016, 15:17

Japan to investigate 2020 Olympic bid

By Associated Press
Japan to investigate 2020 Olympic bid

In this Sept 7, 2013 photo, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (center) shakes hands with President of the International Olympic Committee Jacques Rogge as Tokyo 2020 Olympic Bid Committee President Tsunekazu Takeda stands by after signing the Host City Contract for the 2020 Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (Photo / Natacha Pisarenko, AP)

TOKYO - The president of the Japanese Olympic Committee said the body will investigate the Tokyo 2020 bidding process and payments to a Singapore firm that has enmeshed the bid in a bribery investigation.

Tsunekazu Takeda, who had been one of the leaders of the bid committee, told a parliamentary committee on Wednesday that people involved with the bid would be investigated.

"We have decided to start an investigation into the matter, including questioning staff, to determine whether there was any illegality involved," Takeda said.

French prosecutors have said that 2.8 million Singapore dollars ($2 million) was apparently transferred from Japan to the Singapore account of a company called Black Tidings.

The account holder, Ian Tan Tong Han, has been closely tied to the son of former IAAF President Lamine Diack, who is facing corruption charges.

Takeda has acknowledged the payments were made, but said they were for services such as bid planning and lobbying advice.

Diack, once one of the most influential men in sports, was a member of the International Olympic Committee. He is under investigation in France, barred from leaving the country while the probe continues.

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