TOKYO (AP) — A month in the past, Tsunekazu Takeda used to be warmly applauded via 1,400 Olympic dignitaries as he spoke along World Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach in Tokyo.

A month later, the robust IOC member and head of the Jap Olympic Committee is preventing a corruption investigation, suspected via French investigators of authorizing the cost of bribes to assist land the 2020 Tokyo Olympics when IOC participants voted in 2013.

In a Jap Olympic Committee observation on Friday, Takeda denied any wrongdoing.

relative of Japan’s royal circle of relatives — the good grandson of the Meiji Emperor — Takeda may sign up for a rising record of suspended IOC participants, and honorary participants, who’re related to corruption probes. His case may doubtlessly tarnish the Tokyo Olympics, which open in 18 months.

Bach has referred to as Tokyo’s arrangements “the most efficient ever,” even though there are considerations about emerging prices with the cost tag to organize the video games at about $20 billion. That is thrice what Tokyo bidders mentioned it could price after they had been awarded the Olympics.

“The Tokyo Olympics Face a Black Cloud,” used to be Saturday’s headline in the preferred day by day Nikkan Sports activities.

Takeda has scheduled a information convention for Tuesday in Tokyo to deal with an investigation that has been occurring for a number of years.

“The case is inflicting super fear some of the people who find themselves supporting the Tokyo Video games,” Takeda mentioned. “However I can proceed to cooperate within the investigation with a purpose to transparent any suspicion of me.”

Two of Japan’s 3 main newspapers — Mainichi and Asahi — put the tale on Saturday’s entrance web page. It used to be the highest tale for Mainichi, and Asahi positioned the Olympic tale slightly below the continued detention of Nissan ex-chairman Carlos Ghosn.

In Asahi, subsequent to of Takeda, a headline learn: “French initial listening to pass judgement on suspects bribery in Olympic bidding.”

Ghosn is a Brazilian-born Frenchman, and several other papers urged that France might be getting even for Japan’s remedy of Ghosn.

“France Retaliates for Ghosn Case?” mentioned a headline within the mag Aera, which is printed via Asahi.

The Tokyo Shimbun ran with the most powerful headline: “Tokyo Olympics in Surprise and Turmoil.”

“Unimaginable. Why now?” the newspaper headline requested, quoting unnamed 2020 Tokyo Olympic officers. The paper mentioned “surprise ran thru other people running at the Tokyo Olympics. With about 500 days to move earlier than the video games open, the ones concerned are at a loss for words and flabbergasted.”

The IOC ethics fee used to be to have met Friday, however the IOC didn’t say what motion it had taken. It might droop Takeda or ask him to step apart all the way through the investigation. Or do not anything.

3 IOC participants are actually suspended: Sheikh Ahmad of Kuwait, Patrick Hickey of Eire, and Frankie Fredericks of Namibia. Honorary member Carlos Nuzman of Brazil, who headed the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, may be suspended in a an identical vote-buying investigation.

The initial rate towards Takeda introduced via the Nationwide Monetary Prosecutors administrative center used to be first reported on Friday via French newspaper Le Monde. The initial rate method the investigating Justice of the Peace has made up our minds there are critical grounds for suspicion. However no determination has been made on prosecution.

Le Monde mentioned French government suspect the IOC vote for Tokyo in 2013 used to be swayed via secret offers that secured the backing of IOC participants from Africa.

Le Monde reported French investigators suspect Takeda of authorizing the cost of $2 million in bribes made on all sides of the IOC vote in September 2013 to a Singapore corporate, Black Tidings.

French prosecutors have related Black Tidings to Papa Massata Diack, one of the crucial sons of Lamine Diack, who presided over the IAAF from 1999 to 2015.

Lamine Diack, who had large affect on African electorate in Olympic contests, is underneath investigation in France on corruption-related fees and allegations that he, his son and others had been serious about blackmailing athletes and overlaying up failed drug assessments. The 85-year-old Diack has needed to flip in his passport and isn’t allowed to go away the rustic. His son is assumed to be in Senegal.

Takeda used to be main Tokyo’s 2d instantly bid for the Summer time Video games, after shedding within the 2016 Olympics race to Rio de Janeiro. French prosecutors also are investigating Rio officers and IOC participants for alleged monetary wrongdoing in 2009 related to Papa Massata Diack.

Takeda used to be an Olympic equestrian athlete in 1972 and 1976 and is the pinnacle of the IOC’s advertising fee, which has performed a component in lining up billions in sponsorship cash from Jap firms for the Tokyo Olympics.

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AP Sports activities Creator Graham Dunbar in Geneva, and Related Press author Mari Yamaguchi in Tokyo contributed to this file.

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