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France widens IAAF probe, looking into 2016, 2020 Olympics bids

Europe
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Paris (dpa) - French prosecutors confirmed on Wednesday they are investigating the bid process for the 2016 and 2020 Olympics in an expansion of their corruption probe into athletics.

Franck Charon, spokesman for the national financial prosecutions office in Paris, said an according decision to widen the probe was made in December.

Charon said that it could take several months until first results would be available.

Rio de Janeiro was elected 2016 host in 2009 by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and Tokyo chosen in 2013 over Istanbul in a final round of voting to host the 2020 Games.

Charon did not want to comment on a possible cooperation with the IOC. Olympic officials had said Tuesday around executive board meetings that it has been in close contact with the French authorities since last year.

The IOC also said it has no evidence of bribery attempts around the votes.

The original French probe is directed against Lamine Diack, the president of the ruling athletics body IAAF 1999-2015 and an IOC member until 2014, and his son Papa Massata Diack, on suspicion of bribery and money-laundering in connection with cover-ups of positive doping tests of mainly Russian athletes.

Lamine Diack was provisionally suspended as honorary member by the IOC when the case broke, and resigned from that position. Papa Massata Diack received a life ban from the IAAF ethics commission.

A World Anti-Doping Agency report from January on doping in Russia and corruption within the IAAF suggested in a footnote that "Turkey lost LD‘s (Lamine Diack) support because they did not pay sponsorship moneys of 4 to 5 million dollars either to the Diamond League or IAAF. According the transcript the Japanese did pay such a sum. The 2020 Games were awarded to Tokyo."

Japanese officials have dismissed the allegations.

British paper The Guardian has also reported on a possible bribery scheme which may have involved Lamine and Papa Mussata Diack.

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