(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

IOC marketing chair from Japan investigated for corruption

Tsunekazu Takeda was placed under formal investigation for “active corruption” on Dec. 10

In the latest blow to the International Olympic Committee’s efforts to rid itself of scandal, marketing head Tsunekazu Takeda is being investigated for suspected corruption related to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Takeda, who is also the president of the Japanese Olympic Committee, was placed under formal investigation for “active corruption” on Dec. 10, France’s financial crimes office announced on Friday.

French investigators are in the midst of a years-long and wide-ranging probe into sports corruption that is looking, among other things, at the bidding contests for the 2020 Olympics and other major sports events.

Takeda’s career in Olympic circles has ticked almost every box, starting with representing Japan in equestrian at the 1972 Munich Games and 1976 Montreal Games.

As the head of the IOC’s marketing commission since 2014, Takeda has overseen signing sponsor deals worth hundreds of millions of dollars, including new partnerships with Alibaba, Intel and Allianz.

READ MORE: Vatican launches track team of Swiss Guards, nuns

In a statement issued Friday by the Japanese Olympic Committee, Takeda denied any wrongdoing. The JOC said he was in Tokyo but gave no further details.

“The case is causing tremendous concern among the people who are supporting the Tokyo Games, but I will continue to co-operate in the investigation in order to clear any suspicion of me,” Takeda said.

The IOC ethics commission is scheduled to meet later Friday in Lausanne, Switzerland. Takeda could be provisionally suspended from Olympic duty, or offer to step aside during the investigation.

The Japanese Olympic Committee said it has conducted its own internal investigation and found no illegality involved in all payments made by the Japanese bid committee at the time.

The organizers of the 2020 Olympics referred questions to the JOC.

In Takeda’s Olympic career, he has led a national Olympic committee, been a vice-president of an Olympic sport’s governing body, equestrian, a chef de mission for Olympic teams, a sports director for a Winter Olympics — Nagano in 1998 — a Summer Games bid leader, an IOC member since 2012, and now chair of one of the most financially significant IOC panels.

Takeda also works closely with Sheikh Ahmad of Kuwait, the influential IOC member who has stepped aside from the IOC while awaiting trial in Geneva this year in a fraud case unrelated to Olympic business. Takeda is a board member of the global group of Olympic committees, known as ANOC, and the Olympic Council of Asia, both led by the Kuwaiti sheikh.

(Canadian Press)

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Province, feds, Wet’suwet’en announce progress in MOU talks

External community engagement process launched to help implement Wet’suwet’en rights and title

Update: Accident on Highway 16 causes power outage in Vanderhoof

397 customers still without electricity as of 4:25 p.m. on Aug 13.

Route announced for the Great Regional Air Hug of 2020

Aircraft will be departing from the Vanderhoof Municipal Airport at 12 p.m. on Aug. 15

“Let’s break the silence because we can”

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s awareness walk held Saturday in Fort St. James

New community library aims to foster positive community feelings

Vanderhoof resident has set up a little library in front of her property at the end of Lebler Road.

578 British Columbians currently infected with COVID-19

Seventy-eight new cases confirmed in past 24 hours

Conservation seizes fawn illegally kept captive in Vancouver Island home

A Comox Valley resident charged and fined under the Wildlife Act

Pandemic could be driving more parents to get on board with flu shot: study

University of B.C. study gauges willingness for parents to vaccinate children for influenza

Watchdog clears Okanagan RCMP in death of man after arrest over alleged stolen pizzas

The man died in hospital after having difficulty breathing and broken ribs

Have you seen Berleen? B.C. pig destined for sanctuary goes missing

Berleen was less than two weeks from travelling to Manitoba when she vanished

Health Canada says several kids hospitalized after eating edible pot products

People warned not to store cannabis products where children can find them

‘It’s not just about me’: McKenna cites need to protect politicians from threats

Police investigation was launched after someone yelled obscenities at a member of McKenna’s staff

Michigan plans dedicated road lanes for autonomous vehicles

First study of its kind in the U.S. to figure out whether existing lanes or shoulders could be used

Most Read