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Japanese Olympic Committee sets up team to investigate Tokyo 2020 payments

TOKYO -- The Japanese Olympic Committee has set up a three-person team to see if there were any illegal payments made to a Singapore firm in what has entangled Tokyo's 2020 Olympic bid in a bribery probe.

The three-man investigative team established Wednesday consists of two Japanese lawyers and a certified accountant.

JOC president Tsunekazu Takeda, who headed Tokyo's bid team, approved the payment of 2.8 million Singapore dollars ($2 million) to Black Tidings, headed by Ian Tan Tong Han.

Han is a close associate of Papa Massata Diack, the son of former IAAF president Lamine Diack, who is facing corruption charges in France.

In testimony at Japan's parliament, Takeda said the "contract was for consultancy work and not made with the anticipation that the money would lead to Mr. Diack."

Takeda did not reveal who in the bid committee met with Tan to broker the deal in the months leading up to Tokyo's Olympics venue victory in September 2013.

Tokyo defeated Istanbul 60-36 in the final round of the IOC voting. Madrid was eliminated on the first ballot.

Possible wrongdoing involving Lamine Diack and the 2020 Olympic bid race was cited in a WADA-commissioned investigation of the IAAF. A footnote to a report by the WADA commission in January indicated that Diack was prepared to sell his vote in exchange for $5 million in sponsorship for the IAAF.

The report suggested that Diack dropped his support for Istanbul's bid because Turkey refused to pay, and it also indicated that the Japanese did pay.