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IOC confirms Lamine Diack's potential involvement in buying votes for Rio 2016

Former IAAF President and IOC Honorary member Lamine Diack (Photo: Getty Images)
by Sonja Nikcevic, AIPS Media

LIMA, September 11, 2017 – The International Olympic Committee has issued a statement confirming that Senegal’s Lamine Diack may have been directly involved in buying votes for the host allocation of the Olympic Games.

"The IOC Executive Board reaffirmed today that it goes without saying that infringements from the past will also be addressed,” the IOC stated.

“With regard to the investigation around the former IAAF President, Lamine Diack, and his son, Papa Massata Diack, the French prosecutor has stated that there are indications that payments have been made in return for votes over the designation of host cities for the biggest global sporting events."

An joint investigation between French and Brazilian authorities is looking into suspicious payments linked to the IOC’s award of the 2016 Olympics to Rio.

According to authorities, shortly before the Olympics vote in Copenhagen in sums were passed from Miami-based businessman Arthur Cesar de Menezes Soares Filho known as ‘King Arthur’to Papa Massata Diack – son of Lamine and then an IAAF marketing consultant – and former track and field star and IOC member Frankie Fredericks. Papa Massata Diack allegedly received $1.5m and Fredericks $300,000 dollars.

Diack was a voting member of the IOC when Rio 2016 secured the hosting rights at the IOC Session in Copenhagen in 2009.

On September 5, ahead of the IOC Session in Lima, President of the Brazilian Federation Carlos Nuzman taken into custody by local police under suspicion of being directly involved in the rigging of votes in order to bring the Games to Rio. The 75-year-old Brazilian is thought to have been the connection between Soares and Lamine Diack leading up to the vote at the IOC Session in Copenhagen.

“The IOC Ethics Commission has also requested its Brazilian lawyers to make contact the Brazilian judicial authorities with regard to their latest corruption investigation into the 2009 vote for the allocation of the Olympic Games 2016, to ask for information,” the statement concluded.

The full IOC statement is below:

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is fully committed to protecting the integrity of sport. Credibility is one of the three pillars of Olympic Agenda 2020, the strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement. As part of this reform programme, a new good governance system of the IOC has been introduced. It is strong and comprehensive also with regard to the election of host cities for the Olympic Games. Like any other organisation, the IOC will not be immune to any infringements, but we have significantly strengthened the prevention and the sanctioning system.

The IOC Executive Board reaffirmed today that it goes without saying that infringements from the past will also be addressed. With regard to the investigation around the former IAAF President, Mr Lamine Diack, and his son, Mr Papa Massata Diack, the French prosecutor has stated that there are indications that payments have been made in return for votes “over the designation of host cities for the biggest global sporting events”. In this context, as far as votes for host cities of Olympic Games in the past are concerned, the IOC took immediate action. The IOC joined the inquiry as a “partie civile” more than one year ago. Right after evidence was produced against Mr Lamine Diack, he lost his IOC honorary membership in November 2015, following actions by the IOC.

The IOC Ethics Commission has also requested its Brazilian lawyers to make contact the Brazilian judicial authorities with regard to their latest corruption investigation into the 2009 vote for the allocation of the Olympic Games 2016, to ask for information.

The IOC Ethics Commission is following up on this matter. Where evidence is provided, we will act.

Lima, 11 September 2017

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