The Tokyo Olympics, postponed to next summer because of the Covid-19 pandemic, are facing renewed scrutiny over allegations that the city’s bid to host the games was secured by millions of dollars in bribes laundered through the international banking system.
A team of more than a dozen French prosecutors and police investigators is investigating allegations of corruption associated with the Tokyo Olympics bid, according to a top French prosecutor with oversight of the investigation. The inquiry grew out of a five-year investigation into Russian bribes that allowed athletes to compete despite positive doping tests, which resulted in multiple convictions by a French court last week.
The scope of the scheme has surprised some French investigators, who anticipate that the investigations could broaden to include other major events. “Corruption in some form must exist in every major sporting event,” a law enforcement source said. “The possibilit[ies] of briberies are endless.”
Both the case that was just decided and the Tokyo Olympics investigation center on payments made to a Senegalese father and son duo. For more than 15 years, Lamine Diack ran the International Association of Athletics Federations, or IAAF, recently renamed World Athletics, the largest Olympic sport federation. His son Papa Massata Diack worked as a marketing consultant for the IAAF.