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IOC suspend Frankie Fredericks membership following French fraud charges

Frank Fredericks, IAAF Athlete's Commission Chairperson speaks during a press conference following the IAAF Council Meeting at the Fairmont Monte Carlo Hotel on November 26, 2015 in Monaco, Monaco. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Frank Fredericks, IAAF Athlete's Commission Chairperson speaks during a press conference following the IAAF Council Meeting at the Fairmont Monte Carlo Hotel on November 26, 2015 in Monaco, Monaco. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Former Olympic sprinter Frankie Fredericks has been suspended as a member of the International Olympic Committee.

The 50-year-old Namibian, who has been an IOC member since 2012, was charged with corruption and money-laundering last week by a French judge who is investigating allegations of vote-rigging in global sport.

The IOC's initial response to the news from the Paris court was it would "look into" the matter, before restating its customary proviso that the presumption of innocence must prevail.

Four days later, however, the IOC's executive board has decided it cannot wait for the wheels of French justice to turn.

In a statement, the IOC board said: "Considering the gravity and urgency of the situation and its impact on the reputation of the IOC, the board decides to suspend Mr Frank Fredericks from all the rights, prerogatives and functions deriving from his quality as an IOC member."

The board added it was acting now having received a recommendation from the IOC's ethics commission and as part of its "full commitment" to cooperating with the French authorities.

Fredericks, who won four Olympic silver medals and a world 200 metres title in the 1990s, has denied any wrongdoing.

But he has already stood down from a number of IOC positions, including being head of the evaluation commission for the 2024 Games, and in July was suspended from his seat on the council of the International Association of Athletics Federations.

He has been accused of accepting a bribe of nearly £230,000 from Papa Massata Diack, the son of Lamine Diack, athletics' world governing body's disgraced ex-president, on October 2, 2009 - the day Rio won the vote to host the 2016 Olympics.

Fredericks has claimed the money was a payment for consultancy work he had done for the IAAF but, in March, French newspaper Le Monde reported this money originally came from a wealthy Brazilian businessman for the intention of securing votes in the 2016 bidding race and was channelled via the Diacks.

The French investigation, though, goes much further than Fredericks' relationship with the Diacks, as it now involves former Brazilian Olympic Committee president Carlos Nuzman, claims related to the Russian doping scandal and the vote for the 2020 Games in Tokyo, and allegations of corruption in the bids for several IAAF World Championships.

Press Association

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