• Kyodo

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The Japanese Olympic Committee on Wednesday announced the three-man team that will look into whether there was any illegality in the payment of consulting fees to Singaporean company Black Tidings during Tokyo’s bid for the 2020 Olympics.

The team will be led by lawyer Yoshihisa Hayakawa and also includes Kazuki Shishido, another lawyer, and certified accountant Keiichi Kubo. It will convene its first meeting Thursday.

JOC Executive Director Kiichiro Matsumaru and Kotaro Wakui from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Bureau of General Affairs will serve as observers.

JOC President Tsunekazu Takeda denied in testimony to a House of Councilors’ sports committee on Tuesday that a former Dentsu Inc. executive was involved in an apparently shady payment of more than ¥200 million to Black Tidings.

Takeda, who headed Tokyo’s bid team for the 2020 Olympics, testified to the Upper House panel that Haruyuki Takahashi, a former senior managing director at Dentsu, did not have a hand in the money paid to Black Tidings.

Takeda himself approved the payment to Black Tidings, which is headed by Ian Tan Tong Han, a close associate of Papa Massata Diack, the son of disgraced former International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) President Lamine Diack.

Committee member Shigefumi Matsuzawa had pointed out the close relationship between Takahashi and Lamine Diack, who extended the IAAF’s sponsorship contract with the Japanese advertising giant to 2029.

It is suspected the money paid to Black Tidings found its way to the Diacks.

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