Wednesday 12 May 2021
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‘I never breached any law’ – Fredericks

FredericksWhen news broke last week that Namibian great Frank Fredericks was under investigation at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for allegedly receiving payment from a man who has been banned for life from track and field events for corruption, the sport fraternity was left in shock as many looked forward to hearing the full story from the horse’s mouth.
A French newspaper, Le Monde, reported last Friday that the payment of US$299 300 to an offshore company linked to Fredericks came in 2009 on the day that Rio de Janeiro was awarded hosting rights for the 2016 Olympics. Fredericks was a scrutineer in the vote.
Fredericks is a member of the IOC and was the head of the evaluation commission for the 2024 Olympics. As head of the IOC evaluation commission, Fredericks was to lead an inspection visit to 2024 candidate cities Los Angeles and Paris.
He is said to have denied any link of the money paid into his account to influence the vote and declared his innocence to the IOC in the alleged bribe.
In the twist and turn of events, Fredericks decided to quit the hot seat but maintained his innocence over allegations of his involvement in the manipulation of the vote for last year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
In a statement he issued in response to the allegations giving reasons of his decision to quit the IOC, Fredericks denied any direct or indirect involvement in any untoward conduct and confirmed that he never breached any law, regulation or rule of ethics of any IOC election process.
He lashed back at media reports saying the articles produced by the French newspaper do not only target him but also the integrity of the IOC bidding and election process for the host cities together, which is why he gave up his seat.
‘This is why I have been and am still actively cooperating with the IOC Ethics Commission in order for them to conduct a proper and independent investigation.
“The fact is that I made a statement to the Commission and will continue to give my full cooperation to a proper investigation of these reports and then await the outcome of this independent process.
“It is, of course, in my highest interest to clear myself of the negative insinuations against me and my role within the IOC as soon as possible in order to prevent any further damage to my reputation and that of the IOC.”
Fredericks reiterated that he was never involved in any vote manipulation or any inappropriate practice, thus finding it personally fit to step aside.
“I have personally decided that it is in the best interests of a good functioning of the International Olympic Committee Candidature process that I step aside as Chairperson of the 2024 Evaluation Commission, because it is essential that the important work my colleagues are doing is seen as being carried out in a truthful and fair manner.”
The ex-sprinter highlighted that Paris and Los Angeles are presenting two fantastic candidatures and for that reason he does not wish to become a distraction from this great contest.
He said he will not attend the IOC city meetings in July and will not participate during the vote for the 2024 city. He also temporarily steps aside as the chair of the YOG 2018 coordination.
“In the interim, I will continue to fully cooperate with the IOC Ethics Commission as I trust that they will act in the best interests of all concerned and promptly conclude that the reports and insinuations contained in the aforementioned articles are defamatory in character,” he stressed.
Fredericks would not comment any further on the allegations, saying he would rather wait for the process to be concluded.

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