(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

VIDEO: Fraser Valley Bandits super fan celebrates 100th birthday

Abbotsford resident Gladys Sautter surprised by Bandits representatives on big day

Abbotsford Police remind drivers that school speed zones are back in effect

With partial reopening of schools on June 1, drivers cautioned to slow down

FVRD flooding evacuation alerts in effect

Unprotected areas affected include parts of Morris Valley Road and Lougheed Highway

Cyclist in his 50s victim of fatal crash near Hope Thursday

Police have ruled out speed, impairment as factors after a tractor-trailer struck a man in his 50s

Five Menno Place teams recognized for work during pandemic

Abbotsford seniors’ campus of care acknowledges staff efforts

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

Two more COVID-19 cases reported by Langley long term care facility

One resident, one staffer have tested positive for the coronavirus

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

Suspect sought in alleged assault, hate crime on Metro Vancouver bus: transit police

The woman then allegedly punched the teenager in the head multiple times

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

Investigators probe death of CN employee at Surrey rail yard

Transportation Safety Board is investigating an ‘occurrence that took place during switching operations’

Trans Mountain starts B.C. leg of pipeline twinning project

Mostly finished in Alberta, Burnaby terminal expanding

Most Read