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IOC suspends Frankie Fredericks following charges of corruption and fraud

Frank Fredericks was named as a part of a criminal investigation by French Authorities in March 2017. (Photo: Getty Images)
by Sonja Nikcevic, AIPS Media

LAUSANNE, November 7, 2017 – The IOC has officially suspended the membership of Frankie Fredericks in the wake of charges of corruption and money-laundering by French authorities.

The IOC’s Executive Board confirmed the suspension of the 50-year-old member from Namibia considering “the impact on the reputation of the IOC" following a recommendation from its Ethics Committee, but maintained that it "recalled the importance of respecting the principle of the presumption of innocence for any person concerned by a criminal investigation".

The four-time Olympic silver medalist appeared before a judge in Paris last Thursday where he denied any form of "involvement in untoward conduct". Fredericks, who was prominent member of the IOC, is part of an ongoing investigation by French authorities into the dealings of Papa Massata Diack, the son of former IAAF president Lamine Diack, including possible bribes for the awarding of the Olympic Games to Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020.

Records uncovered by French newspaper Le Monde in March this year show that Fredericks received a payment of $299,300 from Papa Massata Diack on October 2, 2009 - the day Rio was awarded the 2016 Games. The Nambian former sprinter insist that the transactions were legitimate remuneration for consultancy and promotional services for IAAF for the period of 2007-2011 and is in no way connected to the Olympic Games.

Fredericks however insists that the payments, first revealed by France's Le Monde newspaper in March, were received for promotional services provided between 2007 and 2011 under a contract signed on March 11, 2007, and had nothing to do with the Olympics.

The IAAF had previously suspended Fredericks in July as a part of its internal corruption investigations.

Following the charges, Fredericks had stepped down from the IOC Evaluation Commission of for the 2024 Olympic Games, along with the Coordination Commission of the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018. He was absent from the IOC Session in Lausanne and Peru earlier this year.

The full statement from the IOC is below:

IOC Statement on IOC Member Mr Frank Fredericks

The IOC Executive Board (EB) met today to discuss the evolution of the situation of the IOC Member in Namibia, Mr Frank Fredericks.

It followed a meeting of the IOC Ethics Commission on Monday (6 November 2017), shortly after Mr Frank Fredericks was officially charged by a French judge (3 November 2017).

The IOC Ethics Commission stressed that, considering the current status of the file, "it is not in a position to make a recommendation on the value of the facts". The Commission once again "recalled the importance of respecting the principle of the presumption of innocence for any person concerned by a criminal investigation". Considering "the impact on the reputation of the IOC", the IOC Ethics Commission nonetheless recommended suspending Mr Frank Fredericks from all his rights as an IOC Member.

The IOC EB took note of the recommendation of the IOC Ethics Commission for Mr Fredericks and reiterated the full commitment of the IOC to cooperate with the French judicial authorities, as the IOC has the status of "Partie Civile" in this ongoing procedure.

After careful deliberation, the IOC EB took the following decision:

"Considering the gravity and urgency of the situation and its impact on the reputation of the IOC, the IOC EB decides to suspend Mr Frank Fredericks from all the rights, prerogatives and functions deriving from his quality as an IOC Member."

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