Tokyo 2020 deny claims of €1.3 million payment ahead of Olympic vote

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first_imgIt was reported yesterday that the seven-figure payment was being investigated by French prosecutors, with Black Tidings at the centre of allegations of corruption within the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).It follows prosecutors, who were already investigating corruption in athletics, widening their investigation to incorporate the Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Olympic races in October 2009 and September 2013 respectively in March.The account in question was reportedly used by the Diack family for money transfers, with Papa Massata Diack, the son of former IAAF President Lamine Diack, one of three officials banned for life for helping Russian marathon runner Liliya Shobukhova avoid punishment after failing a drugs test.The role of Lamine Diack, who served for 14-years as an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member before his term expired in 2013, is of interest to investigators after allegations he was at the centre of a group of IAAF officials who accepted payments to cover up doping.The Senegalese stepped down as an honorary IOC member last year after the allegations and was later arrested in France.Tokyo 2020 have refuted suggestions that a payment was made ahead of the vote at the 2013 IOC Session in Buenos Aires, after the Guardian claimed that a transfer had been sent by the bid team or by people acting on their behalf to Black Tidings.The inference is that this money could have been used to sway voting IOC members.”The Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee has no means of knowing these allegations,” Tokyo 2020 spokesperson Hikariko Ono told insidethegames.“We believe that the Games were awarded to Tokyo because the city presented the best bid.”Tokyo defeated Istanbul in the final round by 60 votes to 36 in Buenos Aires, after Madrid had been eliminated from 2020 contention after a run-off in the first round of voting.It is not the first time the bidding process for the Games has come under scrutiny, with senior IOC member Richard Pound raising the possibility in the second part of his World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Independent Commission report.Published in January, Pound said that Lamine Diack may have used his position as IAAF President and IOC member to try to influence the campaign for the 2020 Olympics.Discussions between unnamed Turkish officials and Khalil Diack, a son of Lamine, concerning the bidding process, were referred to in a footnote of the report.It was suggested that a sponsorship deal paid by Japan, but not Turkey, may have led to Diack and allies voting for Tokyo rather than Istanbul.In March, Tokyo 2020 chief executive Toshiro Muto claimed he was confident they would be able to overcome their “hurdles” with the ongoing corruption probe into the bidding process.The organisers have also faced embarrassment after scrapping original plans for the main stadium last July over its rising $2 billion (£1.4 billion/€1.8 billion) price tag.They were then forced to ditch their initial logo for the Games after claims of plagiarism.When contacted by insidethegames concerning the allegations of a payment by Tokyo 2020 yesterday, an IOC spokesperson stated: “The IOC Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer has been in contact with the French magistrates in charge of the investigation on the IAAF case, and with WADA, since its start.“The IOC is now civil party to the French justice procedure.“The IOC’s Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer will continue to be in contact with all interested parties to clarify any alleged improper conduct.“The IOC will not comment any further on the elements of the investigations at this stage.”last_img read more

Change of attitude helping TG – Edwards

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first_imgCoach of Tivoli Gardens men senior team Omar Edwards says that a change in attitude has led to the team moving on top in the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) title race. Tivoli are currently on top in the nation’s elite league on 42 points, the same as reigning champions Montego Bay United (MBU). However, Tivoli enjoy a superior goal difference. The West Kingston-based outfit took control following a 1-0 win against MBU in a top clash at Wes Pow Park last Sunday. “Basically, on going to Tivoli last summer, I let the players know what we want to achieve as a team working together,” Edwards told The Gleaner. “Maybe the attitude wasn’t the best, so that had to change. My coaching staff sold the players a vision on how to win the league. We want to be the best organised team on the defensive and offensive end of the pitch,” he shared. “I came here to give of my best for the team. I have displayed reasonable system of play which are paying off,” the 32 year-old, who is also Jamaica Under-17 assistant coach, added. “We had some quality players at Tivoli, and also added others such as Tevin Shaw and Marvin Stewart at the start of the season. We also brought in Peter Keyes, Jermaine Parris and Denham Town High schoolboy Arthur Walters. “We have a competent team that stands a chance of winning the league. The players have been highly motivated since the win against MBU,” Edwards further said. With regards to support from management, Edwards says that despite financial constraint, they are fully behind the team. “The club is unable to attract sponsors, so the players are not getting the salary they want, but we had to find a way to keep the players motivated. We promised the players incentives from the winnings at the end of the season, and they are going for it,” he concluded.last_img read more

AFL Change of Command

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GOL to ‘Strictly Adhere and Enforce’ PFM Law

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first_imgLiberia’s Finance Minister has warned government’s Ministries and Agencies against committing the administration to contractural obligations that are in excess of budgetary appropriations authorized by the National Legislature.Minister Amara M. Konneh observed that obligating the government without proper observation of the established procurement processes has the propensity to engender wasteful spending, which he said, undermines government’s budgetary performance.In a statement issued last week on the commitment of public funds, Mr. Konneh urged all public agencies including banks and financial institutions wishing to provide pre-financing to contractors, to strictly adhere to the Public Financial Management (PFM) Law and the Public Procurement and Concessions (PPCC) Act of Liberia.“Our resources are rather scarce, and it is our utmost responsibility to pull together in driving the economy towards achieving a middle income economy by 2030. Towards this objective, the prudent application and management of public resources is our core responsibility and obligation, as it is critical to realization of this goal,” Konneh said.He strongly warned banks and financial institutions wishing to provide pre-financing to contractors hired by ministries and agencies, of the legal requirements and its consequences. Punishment for violators of the PFM Law may be administrative or criminal depending on whether the infringement constitutes an infraction, a misdemeanor, or other higher crimes.The Finance Minister also told our business desk last week that his statement is intended to call the attention of spending ministries and agencies to strictly abide by the policies prescribed by the government as they sign agreements with contractors to implement their respective projects.Konneh emphasized his call on ministries and agencies to be mindful of their responsibilities and obligations as provided for under the PFM Law of 2009, the annual Budget Law, and the PPC Act of 2005 as amended in 2010.The Minister also reminded spending agencies of the provision in Section 24 and sub-sections 1 to 5 of the 2009 PFM Law, which specifies the legal process by which, he declared, all ministries and spending agencies may enter into a contractual commitment on behalf of the government.According to Sections 1,2, and 3 of the PFM Law, “all purchases of goods and services from suppliers, including capital investments, shall comply with the provisions prescribed in the PPCC Act of 2005 as amended and its enabling regulations; all contracts, including those established through the simplified Local Purchase Order (LPO) mechanism, shall be considered commitments of the government, and notwithstanding the provisions of the PPCC Act, multi-year procurement contracts will be subject to annual limits established in relevant budget line in the approved National Budget, amended from time to time through budgetary transfers and/or supplementary budget. No action shall be taken to abrogate such multi-year contractural obligations.”The PFM Law notes “contracted amounts relating to future years will be subject to their adoption within the National Budget of that year. The provisions of multi-year contracts will be drafted in such a way as to reflect these restrictions.”Accordingly, Count 10 of regulation No.3 of the PPCC Act states “the Ministry (Finance) shall take part in the negotiations and signings of contracts over US$250,000 and the contract shall be attested to by the Ministry of Justice.”The Act when on to say “ministers and heads of budgetary institutions and agencies shall be responsible for maintaining an up-to-date record of contracts entered into and for ensuring that any multi-year contracts are fully reflected in the budget estimates approved by the Legislature for the years in which they will require funding.”According to Section 5 of the PFM Law, “all contracts should as closely as possible be reflected in the annual procurement plan of the relevant ministry, institution or agency, as required by the PPCC Act.Procurement plans for the different types of goods and services should be prepared in a manner consistent with the different categories of expenditures as contained in the Budget Act, and shall be submitted to the Minister of Finance as supporting evidence to their spending plans.”The Finance Minister has, meanwhile, told potential contractors or suppliers of government that unless the provisions of the PFM Law and the PPCC Act are met, no payments will be made from the consolidated fund as contractual obligations to government.“We are going to strictly adhere and enforce these policies in the coming year, so I am reproducing an extract of these sections as a reminder,” Konneh said urging public agencies and potential contractors or suppliers to make sure that they read both the PPCC and PFM Laws carefully before entering agreement with any government agencies.The Minister also informed ministries and agencies to collect pocket copies of the PFM Act from the PFM Reforms Coordination Unit situated on the 4th Floor of the Ministry of Finance, for ease of reference. “A soft copy of the PFM Act can also be accessed from the Ministry of Finance’s website,” he stated.Minister Konneh’s warning comes in the wake of the recent resignation of Liberia’s Procurement Chief, Madam Peggy Varley Meres, formally of the Public Procurement and Concession Commission (PPCC). She tendered in her resignation to Professor Willie Belleh, Jr, Chairman of PPCC on May 15, 2014.Madam Meres noted in her resignation that as CEO of a major integrity institution on the frontline in the fight against corruption in Liberia, the past five years have been very challenging.She had reportedly said in her resignation, “As you are aware, we have an underdeveloped private sector and the public sector is essentially the only game in town. This attracts all kinds of selfish interests and with that comes the risk of rent-seeking actors attempting to use public resources for personal gain.”Madam Meres noted that the absence or weakness of institutional checks and balances leaves the country at the mercy of the personal morality of its actors; public procurement and concessions granting in Liberia, especially given our history about stability, and peace.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

LGE date to be announced in 2 weeks – Bulkan

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first_imgMid-November has been touted as the timeframe for the hosting of this year’s Local Government Elections (LGE) and the exact date is expected to be released in two weeks’ time. This is according to Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan who told Guyana Times that the date for this year’s Local Government polls “should be known within two weeks”.Meanwhile, Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Justice James Patterson, in a recent interview with this newspaper said the body has already commenced preparatory works and is now awaiting the date to roll out other aspects.“There are some things that have to be done by so and so time but everybody’s waiting with abated breath for the Minister to announce the date because that would give us a time range when to start doing certain things. But whatever has to be in place is in place already,” Justice Patterson noted.The GECOM Chairman went on to say, “The Minister know how we operate and I don’t think he will set a date that would embarrass us; have us hustling and shuttling… After he announces the date… there is nothing else new we will have to do… I can assure you we are on target.”Nevertheless, Minister Bulkan in response to the GECOM Chairman said, “[Justice Patterson] is aware that it’s going to be mid-November but the actual date itself [will be known in two weeks]”.This year’s Local Government Polls is said to be the first time in Guyana’s history that successive elections will be held. Since 1994, LGEs were held again in 2016 – one year after the current Administration took office.Some $2.9 billion has been allocated for the elections with an additional $500,000 brought over from last year.In preparation, for the LGEs later this year, GECOM has already commenced the countrywide registration to ensure that all eligible citizens will be able to exercise their democratic right to vote. The process commenced on May 21 and will run until July 15. Meanwhile, the Commission’s Voters’ Education Division is also active, raising awareness on LGEs.The March 2016 Local Government Elections had recorded a low voter turnout; in fact, it was lower than the last elections held in 1994. The Commission had reported that out of the 507,584 people eligible to vote, only 239,070 people (47.1 per cent) chose to exercise their franchise.Of the votes cast in the 71 Local Government Authorities (LGAs), 236,323 were deemed valid.Justice Patterson had told the Press Division of the Ministry of the Presidency in a previous interview that the body is cognisant that every system must be in place in order for there to be a free, fair and transparent election.“We started preparations ages ago because there are stages and we are at the stage now where everybody is doing something that the Statues of the Constitution say to do. We have reports coming in daily from all of our positions throughout the country. I think most of the people come at least weekly with reports so we have everything ship shape in that regard. We have more registrants as we speak, far more than when we began and that gives me some comfort,” the GECOM Chairman had stated.last_img read more

Downpour causes flash flood at mall

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first_imgDespite the flooding, he says the stores in the mall will be open for business, Friday, but adds the cinema may be closed since it received the most amount of water damage. Photo: The parking lot of the Totem Mall was more like a sewer water lake./Adam ReaburnThe water in the parking lot was sewer water, he says, and warns that if flooding occurs again and water gets into the power room, people who are in the area could easily be electrocuted.Advertisement Photo: A truck attempts driving through the flooded parking lot at the Totem Mall./Submitted.Flash flooding and knee deep water from Thursday night’s storm in Fort St. John caused problems for some businesses.- Advertisement -Many of the stores in the Totem Mall were slightly flooded because the mall ties into the city’s drainage system, says Rob Schlitt, manager of the Totem Mall, and when that has reached capacity, the water around the mall cannot drain.Schlitt says the flooding in the stores only occurred because people were driving through the parking lot and splashing water against the building, adding that if that hadn’t happened, the stores probably would not have been water damaged at all.last_img read more

Organic plot grows at Cal Poly

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Initially a concept of a pay-and-delivery-type service, the idea morphed into a farm managed by students. Organic farms are common at schools with agriculture departments, school officials said. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo has a community-supported farm, but Cal Poly Pomona Organics is a business, with a percentage of proceeds going back to the university’s foundation, which funded the project. “This is not a class, and the school supports the learning by doing philosophy,” Dosier said. Support for agricultural projects has been seen at the K-12 level. The state department of education announced last month that schools that invest in gardens – floral or edible – are eligible to apply for $15 million in grants. Much of the planting and general maintenance of Cal Poly Pomona Organics is now being done by Dosier and Paul Nurre, also an agriculture student, with oversight by Dan Hostetler, professor and chair of the college’s plant sciences department. A staff of six will be hired later and the goal is to sell items at local farmers markets, and the Whole Foods Market in Tustin has made contact about selling some items, Dosier said. Nearly three acres of the farm is on Pepper Tree Ranch, where the majority of crops will be planted. Additionally, the department is planning to get certified organic nearly five acres of orange trees. For Dosier and Nurre, running the organic farm allows them to gain work experience and apply their knowledge of plant and soil sciences. They work at area farmers markets on behalf of the college’s farm store, which produces it own merchandise such as organic pasta and tortilla chips. And while the debate over whether to buy organic or stick to regular produce continues, Nurre said the “first question buyers ask at farmers markets is if an item is organic.” The team has high expectations for the farm. With support for organic produce at a premium, the organizers hope to capitalize on the organic movement. “We would like to be a farmers market every night,” Nurre said. caroline.an@sgvn.com (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2108 POMONA – Now people can eat healthy, save the planet and nurture young minds at the same time. A student-run organic farm has sprouted on a three-acre plot on the Cal Poly Pomona campus. And by the summer, organizers say, Cal Poly Pomona Organics should be ready to supply fresh fruit and vegetables – including 20 varieties of heirloom tomatoes – to local farmers markets and residents who prefer pesticide-free products. The crop will include bell peppers, sweet corn, cucumber, canteloupe and watermelon. “We went with the basics,” said Patrick Dosier, 22, an agriculture student and co-leader of the project. read more

Olunga scores as Reysol go top of J2 league

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first_img0Shares0000Harambee Stars forward Michael Olunga celebrates scoring for his Japanese club Kashiwa ReysolNAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 27 – Harambee Stars forward Michael Olunga scored a 17th minute equalizer as his Japanese second tier side Kashiwa Reysol came from a goal down to beat Toshigi SC 2-1 and move top of the J2 league on Saturday.Olunga netted Kashiwa’s equalizer in the 17th minute taking his side back level after Daichi Inui had given the home team a third minute lead. Cristiano da Silva then scored the winner a minute into the second half as Kashiwa picked their fifth consecutive win to move top of the standings with 46 points, two ahead of closest challengers Kyoto Sanga.Harambee Stars forward Michael Olunga celebrates scoring for his Japanese club Kashiwa ReysolKashiwa who are hunting a return to the J1 league will face off with Okayama on Wednesday before playing at home against Rukyu on Sunday.Olunga has been an integral part of the team since he joined mid last season and his goal on Saturday afternoon was his seventh in 14 games in which he has also picked up two assists.Already, Olunga has more than doubled his effort from last season where he scored three goals in 10 appearances after joining from the Chinese Super League.0Shares0000(Visited 40 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Middlesbrough refusing to give up Jordan Rhodes chase

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first_imgMiddlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka is refusing to give up on a deadline-day swoop for Blackburn frontman Jordan Rhodes.Scotland strike star Rhodes headed for Teesside over the weekend with Boro believing they had struck a deal, understood to be worth around £9million with add-ons.However, the plug was pulled on the deal on Sunday after the player and club failed to reach an agreement over personal terms.It is understood, though, that it could yet be resurrected with Boro still keen to land the 25-year-old, who has 11 goals to his name so far this season.Although he is not their only target with time running down fast.Rhodes reported for training at Blackburn on Monday morning, but reportedly left shortly after, sparking speculation that his move could be back on.The Teessiders are also maintaining an interest in Fulham’s Ross McCormack despite being told by the London club that he is not for sale.Boto are prepared to spend big as they attempt to secure a Premier League return at the seventh attempt following relegation in 2009. 1 Blackburn striker Jordan Rhodes last_img read more

Datebook

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first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card Swedish Language and Culture Class, beginning, intermediate and advanced, 6 p.m., Reseda Community Adult School, 18230 Kittridge St., Reseda. (818) 3443-1977. Poetry Show and Open Mike session, 6:30-9 p.m., Panera Bread, 12131 Ventura Blvd., Studio City. (310) 621-7425. The Newbury Park Library will sponsor “Saudi Arabia after 9-11,” 8:30 p.m., 2331 Borchard Road, Newbury Park. Free. (805) 241-8855. Mail Datebook entries – including time, date, location and a phone number – to Daily News City Desk, P.O. Box 4200, Woodland Hills, CA 91365; fax (818) 713-0058; e-mail dnmetro@dailynews.com. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! TUESDAY: Moderate hike, 8:30 a.m., Nike Missile Radar Site, Caballero trailhead, across street from Braemar Country Club, Reseda. Meet at trailhead kiosk at the end of Reseda Blvd. The Joseph Wahl Arts Gallery will be hosting an exhibition of local painters, sculptors, photographers and artists, 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., 5305 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Woodland Hills. (818) 340-9245. Tiny Tuesday story time for children, 11 a.m.-noon, Storyopolis, 12348 Ventura Blvd., Studio City. Winter Botanical Drawing Workshop, 11 a.m., Sooky Goldman Nature Center, Hollywood. Reservations required. (323) 656-3899. Look for William O. Douglas Outdoor Classroom south of Mulholland Drive and Franklin Canyon intersection. last_img read more