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Tokyo 2020 consulting firm paid around US$370,000 to Diack's son: report

[TOKYO] A consulting firm for Tokyo's Olympic bid committee paid around US$370,000 to the son of Lamine Diack, once one of the world's most powerful sports officials, around the time Japan was picked to host the 2020 Games, Kyodo News reported on Monday.

The report comes amid French investigations into the former head of Tokyo's bid committee, Tsunekazu Takeda, for approving around US$2 million in payments to Black Tidings, a now-defunct consulting firm in Singapore.

The report said the findings, based on a review of financial documents as well as reporting by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and several media organisations including Kyodo, may shed light on what happened to the US$2 million.

Black Tidings made multiple transfers to Mr Diack's son, Papa Massata Diack, including some paid into a personal account and others transferred to his company, the report said. The combined total was around US$370,000, it said.

Mr Papa Massata Diack told Kyodo that the payments were not related to the Tokyo Olympics. He declined further comment in an e-mail to Reuters.

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French prosecutors had been looking into whether Black Tidings paid the younger Mr Diack to influence the father, who was a member of the International Olympic Committee and believed to control votes among African members.

Mr Takeda resigned last year due to the scandal, admitting to the payments while denying wrongdoing.

The Kyodo report said he denied any knowledge of money transfers from Black Tidings.

"At the time, I did not know anything that happened after (making the payment to the consulting firm)," he said.

Reuters could not immediately contact Mr Takeda for comment.

The older Mr Diack, former head of world athletics' governing body, was convicted in France on Wednesday for corruption in relation to a Russian doping scandal.

The Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics have been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the government planning to host the games next year instead.

REUTERS

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