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Japan made huge sponsorship payment during Tokyo's bid to host 2020 Games: report

NEW YORK -- Japan paid the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) between 4 and 5 million dollars in sponsorship money while Tokyo was bidding to host the 2020 Summer Olympic Games, a World Anti-Doping Agency independent commission report has stated.

The information came during an investigation into suspicions that a Turkish athlete's doping violation was covered up.

Istanbul was unsuccessful in its bid to host the 2020 Games, and the report said in a footnote that the Turkish side had lost the support of then-IAAF chief Lamine Diack because it did not pay the sponsorship money.

Olympics Minister Toshiaki Endo on Jan. 15 commented that the assertions were "hard to believe."

"I don't think that was the case," he said.

Tokyo went up against Istanbul and Madrid in bidding for the 2020 Games, eventually beating Istanbul by 60 votes to 36. Diack, who is from Senegal, previously served as a member of the International Olympic Committee, and is said to have had influence in coordinating African committee members' votes.

The independent commission did not go deeply into any connection between Diack and the bidding process, saying that the matter was not within the scope of its investigation.

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