Tokyo 2020 Olympics Embroiled in Bribery Scandal

Just a year and a half before the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics is scheduled to return to the Japanese metropolis, The Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) President Takeda Tsunekazu is accused of engaging in bribery in a bid for Tokyo to win the right to host the 2020 Olympics.

Takeda is said to have paid some 220 million yen (approx. SGD$2.75 million) to a now-defunct Singapore consulting firm, Black Tidings, for consultation services. Part of this money was suspected to have been paid out to individuals with voting rights to the 2020 Olympics venue eventually resulting in the Japanese capital winning the bid.

Black Tidings has no previous records in bidding for the Olympics and yet were hired as a consultation firm for Tokyo’s bid. While this isn’t exactly unprecedented, it is only common for a company to send its members to the Olympic bids’ many events to lobby for votes. However, a sports website editor who says he travels extensively to cover the event said he has never heard of Black Tidings nor its former President, Ian Tan Tong Han.

Black Tidings’ links to corruption-clad Internation Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF), makes it an even more highly suspicious company. Tan is friends with Papa Massata Diack, son of IAAF President, Lamine Diack who is also an IOC member. And the Singapore company was formerly involved with the extortion and doping scandal involving Russian athlete Liliya Shobukhova to cover up a positive doping test.

It is hard to say for sure if there was indeed foul play, but it is sad that the much looked-forward event will be remembered as one plagued with dirty scandals. And if the allegations were true, the event would be one of shame than anything else.

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