International Olympic Committee member Namibian former sprinter Frankie Fredericks speaks at.an IOC function. Picture: REUTERS
International Olympic Committee member Namibian former sprinter Frankie Fredericks speaks at.an IOC function. Picture: REUTERS

Zurich — Former Namibian sprinter Frankie Fredericks was suspended by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Tuesday after being placed under formal investigation in France in a probe into allegations of vote buying to win the 2016 Summer Olympics for Rio de Janeiro.

Fredericks is suspected of receiving bribes and laundering the money through Paris, said a source. He appeared before a French magistrate last week.

Fredericks has rejected allegations of corruption.

The IOC said its executive board had decided to suspend Fredericks after "considering the gravity and urgency of the situation and its impact on the reputation of the IOC".

Fredericks is already being probed by the global Athletics Integrity Unit over payments he received from Papa Massata Diack, the son of former world athletics chief Lamine Diack, on the day Rio won the vote to host the 2016 Olympics.

Fredericks has previously said a payment of $300,000 to his company was recompense for legitimate work.

Fredericks also sat on the International Association of Athletics Federations council until he was suspended in July pending the outcome of the integrity unit probe.

In October, the IOC suspended the head of Brazil’s Olympic committee, Carlos Nuzman, after he was charged in Brazil with racketeering in connection with alleged vote buying to win the event for Rio. He denies the charge.

Reuters

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