The French authorities asked the Swiss police to raid the office of Athletics Management & Services (AMS) which is in Lucerne, Switzerland. This is to search for evidence of alleged corruption, but the request was denied by the Swiss police department.
AMS and the Japanese advertisement agency Dentsu, the world’s fifth-largest advertising agency, are the ones handling the marketing and media rights for the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). It is suspected to be involved in embezzlement of broadcast rights and sponsorship funds.
In 2001, Dentsu bought the majority of IAAF’s global rights in the midst of bankruptcy. It then got AMS as a partner to the IAAF contract.
Dentsu does not own stocks in AMS. However, the partnership had become so close that the French detectives have a sneaking feeling that the Japanese Olympic Committee with the help of AMS bribed the IAAF president during that time (Lamine Diack) and his son Papa Massata Diack.
This is to secure votes for Tokyo to host the 2020 Olympic Games. These accusations were strongly denied by the agencies. Tsunekazu Takeda, former President of the Japanese Olympic Committee, claims that all transactions were made with due honesty and that he is innocent.
AMS and Dentsu have no record of any monetary mischief. However, these agencies will be dealt with accordingly if sufficient evidence will arise proving that they have bribed the IAAF president for the bidding process of the 2020 Olympics and the World Athletics Championships.
Papa Massata who allegedly received a payment of US$2.3 million through his company, Pamodzi Sports Consulting was also being separately compensated as a marketing consultant for the IAAF.
Moreover, he only had limited marketing rights for his company after a series of negotiations amongst the Dentsu, IAAF, and AMS. Thus, Massata exhausted the funds by underpaying AMS and selling sponsorships.
The Diacks were both charged with money laundering and bribery.
Lamine Diack, was a former long jumper, president of the IAAF, and mayor of Senegal’s capital (Dakar). He had been accused of theft and corruption while leading the IAAF even before the issue with AMS and Dentsu arose. He is currently under house arrest in France.
Lamine reportedly allowed doping athletes from Russia to continue competing in the famous world competitions in exchange for cash.
In fact, a Russian marathon runner paid him €600,000 just to cover up a positive drug test which permitted the athlete to continue participating in the 2012 London Olympic Games.
The Russian athletics federation has been deferred from joining the world competition since November of the year 2015. This was after the World Anti-Doping Authority (WADA) reported evidence of state-sponsored drugging among Russian athletes.
His son, Papa Massata Diack, was also charged with almost the same delinquencies. These include criminal conspiracy, accepting bribes, and money laundering. He is presently in Senegal.
This father and son tandem who is involved in a four-year corruption investigation case has been denying all allegations and issues pertaining to the matter.
Nevertheless, Lamine will soon face a court trial in France for his suspected wrongdoings.