US prosecutors investigating corruption at Fifa, IOC and USOC, says New York Times report

US federal prosecutors are conducting an extensive investigation into global sports corruption, including at Fifa, and the international and US Olympics organisations, The New York Times reported.
US federal prosecutors are conducting an extensive investigation into global sports corruption, including at Fifa, and the international and US Olympics organisations, The New York Times reported.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (REUTERS/AFP) - US federal prosecutors are conducting an extensive investigation into global sports corruption, including at Fifa, and the international and US Olympics organisations, The New York Times reported on Wednesday (Jan 31), citing a grand jury subpoena.

As part of the probe, the Justice Department is looking at possible racketeering, money laundering and fraud charges related to two track and field world championship events and the business executives who have consulted on bids for various other elite competitions, according to the subpoena, the Times reported.

The investigation is being conducted by the US Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn, which has previously investigated Fifa and systematic doping in Russia.

A spokesman for the US Attorney's office declined to comment on the report.

The subpoena, one of a number that were delivered in January, solicited documents, testimony and financial records dating to 2013, the Times reported.

Since then, the United States has won bids to host the 2021 track and field world championships in Eugene, Oregon and the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

The subpoena did not explicitly refer to the Los Angeles Olympics bid, but did focus on the world governing body for track and field, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the newspaper said.

The IAAF awarded the sport's 2019 world championships to Doha, Qatar, and the 2021 event to Eugene.

The people asked to provide information, including personal and corporate bank records, were expected to appear in federal court in Brooklyn as soon as this week, the Times reported.

The awarding of the 2019 and 2021 Athletics World Championships has already been the subject of investigation in France, where Lamine Diack has been barred from leaving the country since being charged with accepting bribes to cover up doping by Russian athletes during his IAAF presidency from 1999 to 2015.

His son, Papa Massata Diack, is also being investigated by French authorities for the same offenses and also claims he accepted a bribe to help Rio de Janeiro win the 2016 Olympics.

A spokesman for the United States Olympic Committee declined to comment on Wednesday and a spokesman for the International Olympic Committee did not immediately respond to a request, the newspaper reported. A spokeswoman for the IAAF said it had not been contacted by US investigators.