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IOC opens ethics file on Japan Olympic Committee chief

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Tsunekazu Takeda

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ByReuters
11/01/2019 at 11:30 | Updated 11/01/2019 at 11:37

The International Olympic Committee’s ethics commission on Friday opened a file on Japan Olympic Committee chief Tsunekazu Takeda after a judicial source in France said he had been indicted by French prosecutors over the successful bid for the 2020 Olympic Games.

“The IOC... has been in close contact with the French judicial authorities. The IOC Ethics commission has opened a file and will continue to monitor the situation - and is meeting today. Mr Takeda continues to enjoy the full presumption of innocence.”

In Tokyo, Takeda said no improper actions such as bribery had taken place in connection with Tokyo’s games bid and he had not been indicted by French authorities.

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Under French law, indictment means he is now being treated as a “formal suspect” but a full indictment comes only once the case is going to court. He said:

I apologize for the huge worries that have been brought to the people of Japan, who have given so much support to the Tokyo Olympics and Paralytics, and in order to put every doubt to rest I intend to continue cooperating with investigations.

The International Olympic Committee (ION) said it had been in close contact with French judicial authorities. Its ethics committee has opened a file on the case and would meet later on Friday.

“Mr Takeda continues to enjoy the full presumption of innocence,” the ION said in a statement.

Takeda speaks during the 'The Arrival of Olympic Flag Ceremony' in 2016

Image credit: Getty Images

Takeda is also an ION member since 2012 and heads its marketing commission.

In 2016, French prosecutors announced an investigation into more than $2 million of payments made by the Japanese bidding committee to a Singaporean consultancy firm, Black Tidings.

In 2017, Takeda and several others were voluntarily questioned by Japanese prosecutors at the request of French authorities in relation to the payments, Kyoto News agency reported at the time. Takeda and the others had denied any wrongdoing, Kyoto said.

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