Former world sprint champion Frankie Fredericks, of Namibia, has been charged by French authorities for passive corruption and money laundering relating to a graft probe into the awarding of last year’s Olympics to Rio.
Received payments of U$229,300
The Namibian, who appeared before a judge in Paris on Thursday, is being investigated over a US$299,300 payment he received from Papa Massata Diack, the son of former International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) president Lamine Diack.
Bribes paid to hosts Olympics
The money was allegedly received on October 2, 2009, the same day Rio won the bid. Fredericks denies the allegations.
French investigators are looking into the possibility that bribes were paid over the awarding of both the 2016 Olympics to Rio and the 2020 Tokyo Games.
The investigation centers to a large extent around the activities of Papa Massata Diack, who along with Lamine Diack also faces charges in France over millions of dollars paid to cover up doping failures by Russian athletes.
Fredericks insists that the payments, first revealed by France’s Le Monde newspaper in March, were received for promotional services provided between 2007 and 2011 under a contract signed on March 11, 2007, and had nothing to do with the Olympics, reports said.
Following the corruption allegations, the 50-year-old Namibian stepped down as head of the IOC committee evaluating bids to host the 2024 Olympics.
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