Athletics

Fredericks quits Olympic role amid probe

Former sprinter Frankie Fredericks yesterday quit as head of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) commission monitoring candidates for the 2024 Olympics amid a probe into money he accepted from a sports marketing chief accused of corruption.

Fredericks, 49, strongly denied any wrongdoing in accepting nearly $300,000 (S$423,000) around the day that Rio de Janeiro was awarded the 2016 Olympics.

But said he had "personally decided that it is in the best interests of a good functioning of the IOC candidature process that I step aside as chairperson of the 2024 Evaluation Commission, because it is essential that the important work my colleagues are doing is seen as being carried out in a truthful and fair manner".

The Namibian athletics great added: "I do not wish to become a distraction from this great contest."

The IOC is to decide in September whether Los Angeles or Paris gets the 2024 Olympics. But the decision faces greater scrutiny because of corruption allegations over recent Olympics.

And Fredericks' announcement came one day after he also stepped down as a member of an International Association of Athletics Federations taskforce on getting doping-tainted Russia back into global sport.

Last Friday, Le Monde newspaper said Fredericks received nearly US$300,000 from Papa Massata Diack, who is wanted in France on bribery charges.

Fredericks received the sum from Pamodzi Sports Consulting, which is owned by Papa Massata Diack.

Diack, alongside his father and former IAAF chief Lamine Diack, faces charges in France over millions of dollars paid to cover up doping failures by Russian athletes.

French investigators are also looking into the possibility that bribes were paid over the awarding of the 2016 Olympic Games to Rio and the 2020 Tokyo Games. 
- AFP

2016 Rio OlympicsSPRINTERRIO DE JANEIRO.