The Rio Olympics cash-for-votes scandal has put the International Olympic Committee under a fresh cloud of corruption just as it announced Paris and Los Angeles as the hosts for the 2024 and 2028 Games.
Now, further claims about the alleged buying of votes by the teams bidding for hosting rights of the Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Games have come out, according to a report in The Guardian.
Investigations have shown that Papa Massata Diack, the son of the disgraced former IOC member Lamine Diack, and a central figure in the Olympics corruption scandal, bought expensive watches and jewellery just days after the votes for Rio and Tokyo.
The report claims that The Guardian has seen documents which allege that Diack spent hundreds of thousands of euros in French jewellery shops around the time the bids were being campaigned for.
The Brazilian federal prosecutors office, which compiled the documents based on French prosecutors’ investigations, drew the conclusion that payments could have been made to Massata Diack by Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 “with the intention to buy votes and the support of Lamine Diack, who held particular influence within the IOC”, says the report.
This is not the first time Diack has been under the scanner for his involvement in the Olympics bid scandal. Last year, the English daily revealed a seven-figure payment from the Tokyo Olympics bid team to an account named Black Tidings, which was linked to Diack.
The IOC, which met in Lima this week to announce the next two hosts, have been under the corruption scanner for a while now. Earlier this month, top Brazilian official Carlos Nuzman was arrested by police for his alleged involvement in a scam to funnel cash to IOC members taking part in a 2009 vote in Copenhagen to decide the 2016 Games.
It followed earlier revelations in France about a similar plot involving the 2013 vote in Buenos Aires which awarded the 2020 games to Tokyo.
Former IOC member Nuzman was taken in for questioning with his passport confiscated and his house searched. Brazilian police say they are probing “an international corruption scheme” aimed at “the buying of votes for the election of [Rio] by the International Olympic Committee as the venue for the 2016 Olympics.”
Rio won the right to hold South America’s first Olympics, beating off competition from Madrid, Tokyo and Chicago at a 2009 IOC Congress in Copenhagen.
The IOC has vowed to take action against anyone involved in new corruption allegations, confirming it had requested information from Brazilian authorities probing a vote-buying scandal surrounding the award of the 2016 Rio Games. A declaration of the IOC’s executive board said the body’s ethics commission had instructed its Brazilian lawyers to seek details of the case involving Nuzman.
With inputs from AFP