National

JOC head Takeda likely to retire amid probe into Tokyo 2020 Olympic bid corruption, say sources

Reuters, Kyodo

Japanese Olympic Committee President Tsunekazu Takeda is likely to retire without serving another term at a time when French prosecutors are investigating him for suspected corruption in Japan’s successful bid to host the 2020 Games, sources said Friday.

The 71-year-old president is unlikely to extend his term at the JOC’s executive elections slated for June and July, the sources said. Before the corruption scandal surfaced, he had been expected to secure an 11th term.

The next JOC board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday.

The JOC said “nothing has been decided” without providing further details. The Tokyo 2020 organizing committee also declined to comment.

French prosecutors have been probing multimillion dollar payments made by the Tokyo bid committee to a Singapore consulting company.

The prosecuting judge now suspects Takeda of paying bribes to secure the winning bid, a judicial source said. Takeda, who was president of the 2020 bid committee, was questioned in Paris in December and placed under formal investigation.

He has denied any wrongdoing, saying that there was nothing improper with the contracts made between the committee and the consultancy and that they were for legitimate work.

The International Olympic Committee’s ethics commission has opened an ethics file on Takeda, who is also an IOC member and chairs its marketing commission.

Takeda was also re-elected to his post as vice president of the Olympic Council of Asia earlier this month.