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French Investigation Suspects Corruption in Rio 2016 Bid, Implicates Chair of 2024 Bid Committee

Once again, everything is completely fine in the Olympic movement. Nothing to see here.

by Aaron Gordon
Mar 3 2017, 4:24pm

In a shocking revelation that is sure to send tremors through the International Olympic Committee's heretofore untarnished reputation, it appears that the vote for the 2016 Summer Olympics host may have been rigged.

According to Le Monde, wealthy Brazilian subcontractor Arthur Cesar de Menezes Soares Filho engaged in the typical barely intelligible offshore money shell game shenanigans, which eventually led to $1.5 million ending up in the offshore account of IOC member and then-IAAF president Lamine Diack's son three days before the 2009 vote in Copenhagen. Another $500,000 was transferred to an offshore company owned by Diack himself; this is the same Diack who, in 2015, was arrested by French police for taking bribes to bury evidence of Russian doping. Diack had an entire section of the McLaren Report specifically about his role in covering up Russian doping and installing his sons as a show government of the IAAF.

The Brazilian who paid the alleged bribes, Soares, had close ties to the former Rio state governor Sergio Cabral, who is currently facing corruption charges of his own. Soares himself benefited from Rio 2016, according to Le Monde, by subcontracting much of the construction.

So far, so familiar. More interesting is the second part of Le Monde's allegations. Apparently, the day of the 2016 host vote, Papa Massata Diack, Lamine's son, transferred $299,300 via his offshore holding group to another offshore holding group controlled by former Namibian sprinter and current IOC member Frankie Fredericks, who was the scrutineer of the vote; that is indeed a real word, and refers to the person who makes sure everything was on the up and up. (Interesting trivia: the scrutineer for the 2005 vote to host the 2012 Summer Olympics, of which there were rumors of "errors," was none other than current IOC president Thomas Bach.)

Papa Massata Diack is also in some serious trouble for alleged bribes pertaining to the 2020 host vote, which Tokyo won, along with being in the mix on the McLaren Report business. As for Fredericks, he is now the chair of the 2024 Host Evaluation Commission.

Fredericks explained to Le Monde that the payment was for a March 2007 contract for a relay championship and attendance at various promotional events. "The payment has nothing whatsoever to do with the Olympic games," he said.

Fredericks also claims that it was just a coincidence that he was paid for these services on the very day the IOC voted for the 2016 Olympics host. There are a lot of coincidences around the IOC these days.

[Le Monde]