IOC will continue to work to shed light on Tokyo 2020 payment controversy


The IOC has said it will continue to work to shed full light on the controversy surrounding a payment made by the Tokyo 2020 bidding committee.

A recent report in The Guardian alleged the bid team paid around EUR1.3millon (£1m) to a Black Tidings bank account in Singapore during the successful push to seal the right to host the 2020 Olympic Games.

The Black Tidings account was held by Ian Tong Han, a consultant to Athlete Management and Services - a subsidiary of Dentsu Sport set up to market and deliver commercial rights granted by the IAAF.

Tan is reported to have links with Papa Massata Diack - the son of disgraced former IAAF president Lamine Diack, who resigned as an honorary member of the IOC and president of the International Athletics Foundation in November last year amid accusations he took bribes to defer doping sanctions against Russian drugs cheats.

The younger Diack is a former consultant for the IAAF who was hit with a lifetime ban from athletics in January following disciplinary hearings over his alleged involvement in a doping cover-up relating to Russian London Marathon winner Liliya Shobukhova.

French prosecutors are reportedly investigating the payment but Tsunekazu Takeda, former president of the Tokyo bid committee and Nobumoto Higuchi - its ex-director general - have since insisted the payment was made for legitimate reasons.

An IOC statement read: "In this context and the allegations against the candidature of Tokyo for the Olympic Games 2020 the IOC EB [Executive Board] took note of the declaration of the Japanese Olympic Committee and the former President of the Tokyo 2020 Bidding Committee, Tsunekazu Takeda, and the former Director General, Nobumoto Higuchi.

"In it they say that 'The payments mentioned in the media were a legitimate consultant's fee....It followed a full and proper contract and the monies were fully audited.'

"The IOC will continue to work to shed full light to the issue. Therefore the IOC will keep its position as civil party to the French justice procedure and the IOC's Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer will further actively cooperate in the legal inquiry."