By John Tuerijama
THE Namibia National Olympic Committee (NNOC) says it will not venture any opinion nor will it make any decision against former sprint king, Frank Fredericks who is facing a corruption probe by the International Olympic Committee’s Ethics Commission.
Fredericks, a double 100m and 200m Olympic silver medalist, turned himself over to the IOC ethics commission following a French newspaper report linking him to a payment from a man who has been banned for life from track and field competitions for corruption.
Le Monde newspaper reported last Friday that a 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.
NNOC President Abner Xoagub said any pronouncement or decision regarding Fredericks position on the local Olympic committee’s board will only be made once full investigations have been concluded and a decision communicated by the IOC.
Xoagub said the allegations levelled against Fredericks are still allegations, and that there is nothing that the NNOC can do at this stage.
He said he was proud and happy that Fredericks not only turned himself in but has also handed over all necessary documents that would ease the investigations.
“I am grateful that he submitted the documents and it is now upon the IOC to decide whether the issue warrants an investigation. The IOC will surely direct us on the decision taken. We will only know his (Fredericks’) fate once a decision,” said Xoagub.
On his part, Athletics Namibia (AN) president, Erwin Naimhwaka said his council is also waiting for the process to be finalised. “We believe that a person is presumed innocent until he/she is proven otherwise,” said Naimhwaka.
When asked about Fredericks’ willingness to cooperate with the investigation committee, Naimhwaka said he was not surprised describing Fredericks as a responsible individual.
He commended Fredericks for his decision to submit documentation to the IOC and the IAAF to help smooth up the investigation process.
He said the action by Fredericks to step down from the IAAF task committee investigating the Russian doping scandal is commendable.
Announcing his resignation from the IAAF Task Force, Fredericks said: “I have decided to step aside from the task force so that the integrity of its work is not questioned due to the allegations made against me in Le Monde,” he was quoted as saying in an IAAF statement.
Le Monde reported that Fredericks received close to N$4 million from a figure accused of corruption in international sports on the day Rio won the bid to host the Games.
The newspaper carried a full-length interview with Fredericks, in which he detailed how and why he received the money including the timing of the money transfer which coincided with the vote for the hosting of the 2016 Olympics which eventually went to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015