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Olympic leaders investigate possible bribery in 2020 host city vote

Olympic leaders investigate possible bribery in 2020 host city vote
Lamine Diack, the former president of the international track federation, is shown in Berlin in 2009. He is now under criminal investigation on corruption and bribery allegations. (Fabrice Coffini / AFP / Getty Images)

Olympic leaders have reportedly launched an investigation into whether bribe money was paid to secure the 2020 Summer Games for Tokyo.

The possibility of improper behavior was raised this week in a report from the World Anti-Doping Agency, or WADA, whose independent commission was looking at allegations of corruption and widespread doping in track.

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At issue is $5 million in sponsorship money that might have gone toward earning votes for the Japanese capital.

"We have already asked the independent commission for the transcript so that we can better understand the context and the claims being made," the International Olympic Committee said in a statement to the Associated Press.

The allegations focus on Lamine Diack, the former president of the international track federation who is now under criminal investigation on corruption and bribery allegations.

WADA investigators allege that Diack, an IOC member at the time, withdrew his support for one of Japan's rivals, Istanbul, after Turkish officials refused to sponsor his federation's events. Diack eventually backed Japan, which did pay sponsorship money.

Tokyo organizers said the allegation was "beyond our understanding."

The head of the WADA investigation -- IOC member Dick Pound -- said he is "fairly confident" the bidding process is free of corruption.

"If there is going to be individual bits of corruption you can't stop all that," Pound said in the IOC statement. "But organizationally, I don't think that's an issue with the Olympics."

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