(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

$30,000 over 30 weeks for local causes

Send us your good stories and you could win money for your favourite cause

Columbia Shuswap Regional District office to begin phased reopening

Office will be open for four-hour days beginning next week

Flooding prompts closure of parks along Shuswap and Mara lakes

Boaters asked to respect No Wake policy protecting properties along water

Back in play: Columbia Shuswap Regional District reopening playgrounds

Signs with reminders about COVID-19 regulations will be posted

Salmon Arm demonstrators show unity with Black Lives Matter movement

Participants speak out against systemic racism and targeting of vulnerable populations

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

Vernon protesters take Black Lives Matter movement to park

A handful of demonstrators raised fists, signs in solidarity Friday

Police watchdog investigating Lake Country incident

A man was taken to hospital after the June 3 incident

Community backlash over Black Lives Matter rally in Kelowna

Some members of Kelowna’s black community stated they don’t support Friday’s rally

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Bear strolls into Okangan homeowner’s living room

Conservation officers are searching for the bear, which entered a home in the Foothills area

Most Read