Japan’s Olympic chief Tsunekazu Takeda to step down in June

Tokyo: The president of the Japanese Olympic Committee said he will step down, two months after French authorities said they were investigating whether he sanctioned bribes to help Tokyo win the 2020 Olympic Games. Tsunekazu Takeda, who has been JOC president since 2001, reiterated on Tuesday that he had done nothing wrong, following a meeting of the Committee at which he said he wouldn’t seek re-election when his current term ends in June, according to a Dow Jones Newswires report made available to Efe News.

“I will endeavour to prove my innocence,” he told reporters. “I feel sorry for all the fuss.”  Takeda, 71, said he would also step down as a member of the International Olympic Committee.  The French investigation into Tokyo’s Olympic bid centers on two payments totaling $2.1 million paid to a Singapore-based company called Black Tidings before IOC members voted in 2013 for Tokyo to host the 2020 Games.  Investigators are looking into whether money was routed to African IOC members to secure their votes, with the approval of Takeda.

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