French charge IOC member Fredericks in Rio corruption probe

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PARIS (AP) IOC member Frankie Fredericks was handed preliminary charges on Friday in a French investigation into vote-buying around the decision to award the 2016 Olympics to Rio de Janeiro.

An official close to the investigation told The Associated Press that Fredericks was questioned Thursday and handed charges of passive corruption and laundering corrupt goods. The official was not authorized to speak publicly about the case, which is part of an international effort to investigate suspected corruption by Olympic officials and linked to hosting votes.

Fredericks, a four-time Olympic medalist, has said he is innocent. The Namibian sprinter is suspected of receiving a $299,300 payment on the same day that Rio was awarded the 2016 Games.

Preliminary charges under French law mean there is strong reason to believe a crime was committed but allow magistrates further time to investigate.

Fredericks stepped aside from his Olympic duties including leading a panel evaluating the Paris' 2024 Olympic bid in March when the payment was reported by French daily Le Monde. The IOC said then its ethics commission was recommending an interim ban.

On Friday, the IOC said its ethics commission would meet on Monday to discuss his case.

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