Tokyo organizers deny alleged payments made over 2020 bid
ABS-CBN Sports on May 12, 2016 04:13 PM
The Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games displays the new official logos of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, left, and the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games. Organizers unveiled the new official logo of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on Monday, April 25, opting for blue and white simplicity over more colorful designs. The winning logo, selected from four finalists, is entitled Harmonized Checkered Emblem. It features three varieties of indigo blue rectangular shapes to represent different countries, cultures and ways of thinking. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
JIM ARMSTRONG, AP Sports Writer
TOKYO (AP) — Tokyo Olympic organizers on Thursday denied any knowledge of a $1.5 million payment allegedly made during the city's winning bid for the 2020 Games.
Without naming sources, Britain's The Guardian newspaper reported Wednesday that the Tokyo bid team "or those acting on their behalf" paid about 1.3 million euros ($1.5 million) to a Singapore bank account. It said the account was linked to Papa Massata Diack, the son of disgraced former IAAF President Lamine Diack.
French prosecutors confirmed in March they had widened their investigation into corruption at the IAAF to include Olympic bidding for the 2016 and 2020 Games.
Tokyo 2020 spokesperson Hikariko Ono said in a statement Thursday that the committee "has no means of knowing these allegations. We believe that the Games were awarded to Tokyo because the city presented the best bid."
Japan's top government spokesman maintained Tokyo's bid was clean.
"We understand the campaign for the 2020 Tokyo Games was conducted in a clean way," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at a news conference. Suga added that he is "not aware of" the Guardian report.
"If we receive a request (for investigation) from French judicial authorities, our country will respond appropriately," he added.
Suga said the Japanese government has no plans to question the Tokyo Organizing Committee or conduct its own investigation into the allegations.
The International Olympic Committee said it has been in touch with French magistrates from the start and is now a civil party to the investigation.
The IOC said its chief ethics and compliance officer "will continue to be in contact with all interested parties to clarify any alleged improper conduct." It said it would have no further comment on the ongoing investigation.
French prosecutors have been investigating bribery and money-laundering involving doping cover-ups at the International Association of Athletics Federations.