TOKYO (AP) — A former gold medalist used to be elected Thursday to guide the Eastern Olympic Committee, which is mired in a scandal that compelled the previous president to step apart in an alleged vote-buying scheme to land subsequent yr’s Tokyo Video games.
Yasuhiro Yamashita used to be selected to take over for Tsunekazu Takeda, who introduced previous this yr he would step down on the finish of his time period. He additionally resigned from the Global Olympic Committee, the place he used to be the pinnacle of the tough advertising and marketing fee.
“We need to reinforce our integrity as a way to recuperate the agree with of the Japan sports activities international,” Yamashita mentioned. “That is an important factor.”
Takeda, who led the JOC for nearly twenty years, has denied the corruption allegations which are being pursued by means of French investigators.
Yamashita gained gold in judo on the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and is certainly one of Japan’s most renowned athletes. He’s prone to be increased to an IOC club with the Tokyo Olympics opening in 13 months. He’s additionally president of the All Japan Judo Federation.
The announcement got here on the JOC’s new headquarters, a $150 million facility constructed throughout from Tokyo’s under-construction Nationwide Stadium.
Yamashita takes over as French government are set to check out Lamine Diack and certainly one of his sons — Papa Massata Diack — on corruption attached with the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics and the 2020 Tokyo Video games. The elder Diack used to be a formidable IOC member and is said to have gained bills to sway IOC votes.
“We now have noticed some scandals in sports activities, together with the JOC. And due to this fact the agree with and self belief is now in query,” Yamashita mentioned. “We need to grapple with those problems very critically.”
The scandal is a black eye for subsequent yr’s Olympics, even though they nonetheless appear to have fashionable public strengthen. Price ticket call for in Japan is unheard of, and Tokyo organizers have raised greater than $three billion in native sponsorship income — about thrice up to any earlier video games.
A lot of that income has been pushed by means of the large Eastern promoting and advertising and marketing company Dentsu Inc. Dentsu is the unique advertising and marketing company for the Tokyo Olympics and has long-standing industrial hyperlinks to each Diacks. French investigators have now not instructed that Dentsu is a goal in their probe.
Takeda used to be extremely visual only some months in the past when he stood along IOC President Thomas Bach, exchanging small communicate in Tokyo as Bach referred to as the Eastern Olympics the “highest ready” in historical past.
Takeda has said he signed off on about $2 million in bills to a Singapore consulting corporate, which is assumed to had been a conduit to the Diacks. Takeka, who has been in large part portrayed as the autumn man, mentioned he used to be now not a part of the decision-making procedure and had no reason why to query signing a “common industrial contract.”
“So far as Mr. Takeda involving the French government, I imagine he’s blameless,” mentioned Yamashita, including the JOC investigated the problem and didn’t see a necessity for additional exam. “I imagine in his innocence and I’m assured this is how it’s going to be determined.”
Takeda is member of Japan’s royal circle of relatives, the great-grandson of the Meiji emperor who dominated overdue within the 19th century and into the 20th. He competed in equestrian occasions within the 1972 and 1976 Olympics.
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