Asian Olympic Council re-elects Ahmad, Takeda despite corruption scandal

Asian Olympic Council re-elects Ahmad, Takeda despite corruption scandal

Agency News

Kuwait, Mar 4 : The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) on Monday retained Shiekh Ahmad and Tsunekazu Takeda despite them being embroiled in two separate forgery cases.

A statement released here said that based on the review of its Ethics Commission no action would be taken. “The Ethics Commission reiterated everyone’s right to the presumption of innocence,” it added.

Shiekh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, a long-serving OCA boss, a powerful ally of International Olympic Committee head Thomas Bach, was re-elected unanimously for an eighth term at the OCA general assembly in Bangkok, the statement said.

An IOC member since 1992, Sheikh Ahmad stepped down from his roles in the global Olympic body in November, less than two weeks after the Public Prosecutor of Geneva submitted a forgery accusation to a criminal court against the Kuwaiti and four others.

Sheikh Ahmad had been head of Olympic Solidarity — the multi-million dollar IOC purse that funds sports projects globally — and the head of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC). He has proclaimed his innocence and said in November that the Swiss court case had nothing to do with “sport or corruption”.

The OCA said Japanese Olympic Committee president Tsunekazu Takeda had also been retained as an OCA Vice President despite being at the centre of a corruption probe brought by French financial prosecutors.

French investigators are probing a multi-million dollar payment made by Japan’s 2020 Olympic bidding committee to a Singaporean consultancy and placed Takeda under formal investigation on Dec 10. Takeda, a vice president on Tokyo 2020’s executive board, has also proclaimed his innocence and denied anything improper with the bid. UNI