Namibia: Frank Fredericks Case Still Unresolved

NAMIBIA's former world sprint champion Frankie Fredericks will have to wait until the European summer of 2020 (June to September) to hear his fate on corruption investigations by French authorities.

In November 2017, Fredericks was charged by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) with passive corruption and money laundering relating to a graft probe into the awarding of the 2016 Olympics to Rio de Janeiro.

Following the corruption allegations, Namibia's four-time Olympic Games silver medallist stepped down as head of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) committee evaluating bids to host the 2024 Olympics.

The IAAF provisionally suspended Fredericks from its ruling council on July 2017 as it launched a probe into the graft allegations against him. In March the same year, Fredericks also stepped down from an IAAF task force working on getting doping-tainted Russia back into global sport.

In response to queries from Nampa on Tuesday, IAAF Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) head of education and communications, Aditya Kumar, said AIU's investigations on Fredericks are ongoing.

"We continue, through World Athletics, to monitor developments in the French criminal proceedings that are currently postponed until mid-summer 2020," reads Kumar's response.

Fredericks, who denied any "involvement in untoward conduct", is being investigated by French authorities over a US$299 300 (N$5,1 million at the current trading rate) payment he allegedly received from Papa Massata Diack, son of ex-IAAF president Lamine Diack, on 2 October 2009 - the day Rio won the bid.

Fredericks told Nampa on Thursday he had not received any communication from the IAAF nor the IOC with regard to the investigations.

"All I want is for my name to be cleared. I don't know why the IAAF and the IOC are quiet or hiding behind the investigation that is currently being conducted by the French, where I appeared before the judge to state my story when these reports came out," he said.

He added that he is not interested in any position at the IAAF nor the IOC as all that matters is restoring his image.

"When I stood before the judge with my legal team in France I provided them with all the information they needed and I believe they are now busy investigating, but these investigations have been going on for over two years now," the Namibian sprint legend said.

Fredericks stated that the IOC and IAAF are supposed to at least respond to him as the investigation which is being conducted in France is not about him, but a criminal investigation against Diack which can take years.

"I was just caught in the middle of the Diack investigation and when I stood before the judge I provided them with all they wanted and I know they are talking to everyone I know as well as going through all my accounts as it's part of their investigations, even though I have never breached any law, regulation or rule of ethics in respect of the IOC or IAAF," said Fredericks.

French investigators are looking into the possibility that bribes were paid over the awarding of both the 2016 Olympics to Rio and the 2020 Tokyo Games. The investigation centres to a large extent around the activities of Papa Massata Diack, who along with Lamine Diack, also faces charges in France over millions of dollars paid to cover up doping failures by Russian athletes. - Nampa

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