Fredericks leaves 2024 Olympic bid role, waives vote
International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Frank Fredericks has stepped down from his role overseeing the 2024 Olympic bidding process, days after a US$300,000 payment from a banned track official was revealed.
Fredericks announced his withdrawal yesterday, hours before the IOC executive board met to discuss his case.
The IOC said its ethics commission had recommended provisionally suspending Fredericks from his Olympic roles, including taking his right to vote for the 2024 host in September.
"Paris and Los Angeles are presenting two fantastic candidatures and I do not wish to become a distraction," said Fredericks, the four-time Olympic silver medalist from Namibia, in a statement.
Stepping aside as IOC evaluation chairman was "in the best interests" of the bidding process, said the former sprinter, whose company received the disputed payment on October 2, 2009. That day, Rio de Janeiro won 2016 Olympic hosting rights.
Fredericks, who won his Olympic medals in the 1990s, would have led an April 23-25 visit to Los Angeles. Paris will be evaluated by an IOC team on May 14-16.
The IOC said it appointed Swiss member Patrick Baumann, the secretary general of basketball governing body FIBA, to lead the evaluation panel.
Fredericks also will not take part in July meetings in Lausanne, Switzerland, that are a key stage in the voting contest. IOC members will hear from city campaign leaders and about the evaluation visits.
Fredericks has denied wrongdoing after his integrity - and the 2016 Olympic hosting vote - was questioned by French daily Le Monde last Friday.
Fredericks said last week he contacted the IOC Ethics Commission ahead of Le Monde revealing that a company linked to him was paid US$299,300. The cash was transferred by Papa Massata Diack, the son of Lamine Diack, a disgraced former IAAF president and former long-time IOC member.