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Sports

Son of former IAAF president at center of Olympic vote buying racket, says prosecutor

The son of the former IAAF president Lamine Diack is at the heart of a corruption racket that involved vote buying for the Olympics, says the French financial prosecutor. Tokyo 2020 and Rio 2016 are under investigation.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the financial prosecutor’s office said: "The investigations revealed a large-scale system of corruption around Papa Massata Diack, son of Lamine Diack, IAAF president and influential members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC)."

"There are several consistent indications that payments have been made in return for the votes of IAAF and International Olympic Committee members over the designation of host cities for the biggest global sporting events," it added.

Papa Massata Diack (Getty Images/AFP/Seyllou)

Papa Massata Diack is at the center of the investigation

Lamine Diack was arrested in 2015 in the incident that began the now two-year-old probe in to corruption in sports.

That probe has now branched into several investigations and has expanded beyond the IAAF to look at suspicions of possible vote-buying in the awarding of sports events, and involved law enforcement agencies beyond France.

Home raids for Brazilian officials

While the investigations were initially concerned with the Tokyo Games, the 2016 Olympics in Brazil is also under the microscope.

Lamine Diack was arrested in 2015 as part of a corruption probe (picture-alliance/dpa/W.Hong)

Lamine Diack was arrested in 2015 as part of a corruption probe

Earlier on Tuesday, federal police searched the house of the president of the Brazilian Olympic committee and issued a warrant forcing him to testify in an investigation into bribery surrounding the awarding of the Games in the country.

Police said detention warrants had been issued for Carlos Nuzman and his associate, Arthur Cesar de Menezes Soares Filho.

Nuzman’s lawyer Sergio Mazzillo said his client was innocent and would cooperate with inquiries.

"I can confirm that (Nuzman) did not commit any irregularity," Mazzillo said. "Unfortunately, this has created a media spectacle."

In total, 11 detention warrants were issued for people in both Brazil and France in what police dubbed "Operation Unfair Play."

mp (Reuters, AP)

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