Sex-assault trial of ex-Alpine Canada coach Bertrand Charest begins

Charest is facing 57 charges including sexual assault and breach of trust, with the 12 alleged victims between the ages of 12 and 19 at the time.The witness described Charest as a “very controlling” coach who managed his students’ careers “from A to Z” and had influence over what she ate, where she stayed and where she attended school.She said she felt the relationship was “abnormal” even though she believed at first she was in love with Charest, who is now 51.“He laughed at me, he brought my self-esteem as low as possible only to build it up a little bit with small compliments,” she said.The woman testified that many of the alleged incidents occurred during competitions and training camps, when coaches and students stayed in the same hotels.She said she was never physically forced to meet with Charest but felt increasing “guilt and shame” about the relationship to the point where she fell ill in the fall of 1997 and began vomiting and getting migraines.Charest then took her to see his own father who was a physician.The accused took copious notes Thursday in the Saint-Jerome courthouse, where a screen was erected between himself and the alleged victim.During cross-examination, defence lawyer Antonio Cabral questioned the witness in detail about an alleged incident in France, asking her to recall details about who else was nearby, why she went to Charest’s hotel room and whether Charest had been staying with another coach.When asked why she was unable to quantify how many sexual encounters took place, the witness said she didn’t remember everything that happened.“We’re going back 20 years, and I prefer to speak of the events where my memories are clear,” she said.Cabral also questioned her in detail about a letter she wrote to Charest on Valentine’s Day in 1997 in which she expressed respect and admiration for him.“Is that the kind of thing you say to someone who denigrated you?” he asked her.Another of Charest’s lawyers, Jacky-Eric Salvant, said that letter and another written in September paint a picture of a romantic relationship that was “maybe more than just a relationship of coercion.”The witness said her relationship with Charest ended in early 1998 when two other girls told her they had also been seeing the former coach, and the matter was revealed to Alpine Canada officials.The trial resumes Friday and is expected to last about a month.Salvant said about two dozen Crown witnesses are expected to testify.Charest, who worked with Alpine Canada’s women’s development team between 1996 and 1998, has been in custody since his arrest in March 2015.The allegations date back to the 1990s and also involve other locations such as Whistler, B.C., New Zealand and the United States. The alleged crimes took place in France, Austria and Mont-Tremblant. The first witness at Bertrand Charest’s sex assault trial testified Thursday the former national ski coach began kissing her and touching her breasts in 1997 when she was 17.The woman said she met Charest over the next few months for several sexual encounters in locations that included hotel rooms, a van, a physio table, an airplane and Charest’s house.

Captain Craig Hall leads Toronto Wolfpack on transatlantic adventure

“It just wasn’t the right time to move where he was,” said Hall.The Toronto adventure appealed, however, especially after speaking to Rowley and Wolfpack director of rugby Brian Noble, a former successful player and coach.“I was willing to buy in,” Hall said.“Never been to Canada,” he added. He was slated to start but a clash of heads in warmup left him with a swollen eye. Life hasn’t changed much for Craig Hall since joining rugby league’s first transatlantic team. Toronto’s first game, an exhibition affair at Hull’s KCOM Stadium, was five minutes from his home and the Wolfpack’s Yorkshire training base is an hour’s drive away.The Wolfpack have been in training since November and have played just two matches – the 26-20 exhibition loss to Hull FC on Jan. 22 and a 14-6 win over amateur side Siddal in Ladbrokes Challenge Cup play last weekend.Hall came in off the bench in the second half against Siddal. They all have day jobs – occupations range from plumbers and electricians to teachers and civil engineers.The London team was founded in 1995, initially for post-graduate students who wanted to continue playing rugby league – which is more popular in the north of England. He moved to crosstown rival Hull Kingston Rovers in 2011 and Wakefield in 2015.Wolfpack coach Paul Rowley, a former England hooker, has long been an admirer of Hall and wanted to acquire him during his days as coach of the Leigh Centurions. “This year everyone’s going to be up for playing us, being the only full-time team.“I definitely think we’re better than the league we’re in,” he added. The Toronto Wolfpack captain still lives in his Yorkshire home and has yet to set foot in Canada.But he knows the sport will be watching as the fledgling Wolfpack kick off play against the London Skolars in England’s third tier of rugby league on Saturday. The Wolfpack, a fully professional outfit playing against semi-pro sides in the Kingstone Press League 1, are bidding to win promotion and ultimately make the elite Super League.“There’s a lot of potential in the squad,” Hall said. Toronto plays its first five league games on the road before opening at home May 6 against Oxford RLFC.It’s back to England for a one-off game in Newcastle before two games in Toronto, two on the road and four more in Toronto.Hall isn’t quite sure where he’ll be living in Toronto.“I think they’re more or less trying to sort it now … He got the okay to play in the second half after the eye settled down. Despite their name, the rugby-playing students could spell – Skolars came from a brief partnership with Skol.The 29-year-old Hall started with Hull FC’s academy, making his first-team debut in 2007. “But as soon as we start making our way over [to Canada] it will be something different.”He’s not getting on a plane just yet. “That’s something else that obviously was a pull towards signing [with Toronto] – seeing some of the world.”Hall and fellow back Liam Kay (Leigh) were Toronto’s first signings.Playing for the transatlantic team is a bit of an adventure, Hall agreed.“Well not at the minute, because we haven’t been anywhere,” he added with a laugh. “So we’ll just have to get this year out of the way, hopefully progress to the [second-tier] Championship next year and then see how we progress after that.”Toronto is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Toulouse Olympique XIII, a French pro team that returned to the English league last season and won promotion to the second tier after going 13-0-1 and winning the League 1 playoff final.The Skolars, who finished eighth in the league last season with an 8-6-0 record, are typical of the opposition Toronto will face this year. The club are on to it.”Hall has the best of both worlds these days.

Major League Baseball’s new intentional walk rule comes into effect

Major League Baseball and the players’ association announced their agreement on pitchless intentional walks, and the change took effect with exhibition games starting Thursday.If a manager signals the plate umpire for an intentional walk, the umpire would tell the batter to take first base.Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred had hoped for more radical pace-of-game changes, but the union did not agree to raising the bottom of the strike zone, pitch clocks or limits on trips to the mound. If there are no runners, a violation should be considered an illegal pitch under rule 6.02(b).A change to rule 5.03 requires base coaches to remain behind the line of the coach’s box closest to the plate and the front line parallel to the foul line prior to each pitch. MLB can make unilateral changes to playing rules only with one year advance notice. When a manager is out of challenges, an umpire crew chief may ask for a review of a non-home run call starting in the eighth inning, one inning later than last year.MLB also announced the prohibition of field markers to create references for positioning fielders. If the pitcher violates the rule with a runner on base, a balk should be called. An addition to rule 5.07 formalizes an umpire interpretation and prohibits a pitcher from resetting his pivot foot or taking a second step toward home plate during his delivery. A coach may leave the box to signal a player after a ball is put in play.In addition, video review regulations were changed to establish a 30-second limit for a manager to make a challenge and a conditional two-minute guideline for the replay umpire to make a decision. Two other rule changes were announced Thursday.

Darrell K. Smith: All-star Argo held a touchdown record

Smith on his back.The Argos were trailing late in the third quarter of that championship game when sore-shouldered quarterback Mr. The ring was abandoned when the drug dealer demanded $300 for its return.The former athlete long sought work as a football coach with little success. In junior high school, he was a quarterback who performed so well he was offered a partial scholarship to attend Ursuline, a private Catholic high school.Meanwhile, both his older brothers attended college in Ohio on football scholarships. He scored 10 touchdowns the following season, when he received the first of five consecutive honours as an Eastern Conference all-star. Mr. Mr. Minor disputes with coaches became a feature of the latter part of his eight-season CFL career.A speedy runner with an uncanny ability to make over-the-shoulder catches, the lean, 6-foot-2 receiver flourished in the wide-open Canadian game.He helped the Argos win the Grey Cup in 1991 with a key catch late in the third quarter. In the 1991 Grey Cup game, he wore uniform No. Smith rediscovered his Christian faith. 1 with the name D.K. Smith was a central figure in a 15-player trade between the Argos and the Edmonton Eskimos. He was coached by Billy Joe, a running back who played for the 1969 Super Bowl champion New York Jets.“I wanted to go to Miami, like Sherman,” Mr. Vincent attended the University of Mount Union, in Alliance, Ohio, while Sherman was recruited by Miami University, in Oxford, Ohio. He took a job with a roofing company in Atlanta.Mr. Smith sought to warn youth of his own mistakes even after he was diagnosed with terminal cancer.“He finished strong,” Sherman Smith said. The team then lost the NCAA Division II title game to North Dakota State in the Palm Bowl played at McAllen, Tex., in 1983.The receiver played games in NFL training camps for the Dallas Cowboys and the Cincinnati Bengals, but failed to make a regular-season roster.After signing with the Argos as a free agent in 1986, Mr. Smith had used the ring as collateral in a $150 drug deal. Smith’s key 48-yard catch was soon after overshadowed by a kickoff return touchdown scored by teammate Raghib (Rocket) Ismail, who was named the game’s most valuable player, as the Argos went on to claim their first CFL title in eight seasons.After the 1992 season, during which he was used sparingly, Mr. The athlete excelled when the Argos adopted a daring aerial attack, a sure-handed target for the likes of quarterbacks Gilbert Renfroe and Matt Dunigan. 13. “He lost his way a little while. On his three-month checkup, it was discovered the cancer had spread widely. Smith said at the time, “but coaches here told me, ‘It’s better to be a big fish in a small pond than a small fish in the ocean.’ I decided I wanted to make my own shadow, not follow in my brother’s.”His Marauders went 12-0 in his senior year with the wide receiver scoring 17 touchdowns. He had surgery six weeks later to remove his spleen, kidney, pancreas and adrenal glands. Smith, who died of cancer last month at the age of 55, enjoyed one of the greatest seasons for a pass receiver in Canadian Football League history, in 1990. He died in Atlanta on Feb. 13. The constable was acquitted after testifying in court he intended to return the ring quietly to the player to avoid embarrassing him and the Argos.Court was told Mr. The slotback and wide receiver scored 20 touchdowns (a record since surpassed) and accumulated 1,826 yards in receptions. But he got straightened out.”Mr. The ring he was awarded as champion later figured in a court case after it was seized from a drug dealer. (Sherman Smith became a star running back as a rookie with the expansion Seattle Seahawks at the start of what would be an eight-season career as a player in the NFL.)Darrell accepted an athletic scholarship to play for Central State University, a historically black college in Wilberforce, Ohio. The Eskimos cut Mr. Confident in his own abilities, Mr. Smith, running a post pattern, eluded two Calgary defenders to catch the ball at the seven-yard line before scoring a touchdown a few steps later.Mr. 5, 1961, in Youngstown, Ohio. He later signed with the Shreveport Pirates in Louisiana when the CFL expanded into the United States, but he did not play for the team.In eight CFL seasons, Mr. Smith came north to find a spot as a professional in a sport he had played since the age of five. Rejected by American football teams, Darrell K. His dazzling catches earned him all-star honours and made him a fan favourite with the Toronto Argonauts.Mr. Smith struggled with a crack cocaine addiction for more than a decade after his playing days ended.“Darrell had his wilderness experience,” said Sherman Smith, an older brother who played in the National Football League. He was the youngest of three sons born to Lillie (née Beedles) and John Thomas Smith, who rose from working on the blast furnace in a steel mill to become an assistant to Lynn Williams, the Canadian who served as international president of the United Steelworkers union.All three boys played football and basketball, while Darrell also starred at baseball.The parents regarded sports as a privilege, not a right, so the boys needed to complete chores and maintain high grades before being allowed to play.Darrell first played Pop Warner youth football at age five. After renouncing drugs he decided to conduct inspirational seminars for youth to encourage them away from following a dissolute path. Dunigan lobbed a long pass from midfield. He leaves brothers, Vincent Smith, of Tallahassee, Fla., and Sherman Smith, of Renton, Wash. The news of the flashy player’s death shocked CFL fans, as he had struggled in obscurity after leaving the game.Darrell Karland Smith was born on Nov. Smith was diagnosed with cancer on Sept. Smith made 36 catches in 11 games, including a 62-yard reception, a hint of the greatness to come. Smith scored 52 touchdowns, all with the Argos.His drug addiction came to public attention after a Toronto police officer was accused of theft for having seized the player’s 1991 championship ring from a drug dealer. Smith chafed under the uninspiring, conservative tactics of coach Bob O’Billovich. Smith after four games. Sportswriters used his middle initial to differentiate the rookie from a running back with the same name who had recently played in the league. He also leaves his fiancée, Sylvia Lawrence, as well as two sons from a previous marriage that ended in divorce.Though frustrated by having lost prime years to addiction, Mr. “He had a desire to live a godly life and be a godly example to all those around him.”

P.K. Subban in tears during long Bell Centre ovation in Montreal return

Why Montreal will miss P.K. Subban so badly​After two scoreless periods for the home side, Gallagher got the equalizer at 10:55 of the third when his wraparound shot deflected off defenceman Matt Irwin’s skate and through Pekka Rinne’s five-hole.Then with time winding down in the game, Byron poked the puck away from Irwin in the neutral zone and chased it down the length of the ice on a breakaway. The defenceman was hurt battling for a loose puck with Montreal’s Alexander Radulov on what appeared to be a harmless play.The Canadiens paid tribute to Subban with a video montage before puck drop. Subban not out for ‘revenge’ against old team (The Canadian Press)

Gallagher tied the game midway through the third period and Byron scored the winner with nine seconds left to play as the Habs spoiled P.K. With the Predators playing with the man advantage, Subban passed the puck to Ellis, who fired a slap shot from the point past Price to make it 1-0 for the visitors at 18:25 of the first.“We sat back a bit in the second,” said defenceman Mattias Ekholm. A teary-eyed Subban acknowledged the crowd during a lengthy standing ovation.The former Habs defenceman only needed a few shifts to get on the score sheet against his former team. He finished with five hits in 10:37.New additions Andreas Martinsen, Steve Ott and Brandon Davidson were healthy scratches.Notes: The Canadiens beat the Predators 2-1 in overtime in Nashville on Jan. “Everyone knows I haven’t scored many goals this year. There’s definitely a bit of relief. Subban slowly coming into his own with the Nashville PredatorsRead more: A bad dream? Just when it looked like Montreal’s scoring woes would continue, the Canadiens got goals from two slumping players to come from behind and extend their winning streak to four games.Paul Byron and Brendan Gallagher broke personal scoring slumps with timely third-period goals as the Canadiens defeated the visiting Nashville Predators 2-1 on Thursday. Subban missed that game with a back injury. When different people go out and give you those goals, that just makes us that much stronger.”Winger Dwight King, acquired by Montreal at the trade deadline, made his Canadiens debut. 3. King, a two-time Stanley Cup winner with Los Angeles, played on the fourth line with Michael McCarron and Torrey Mitchell. They buried the one chance but even after that I thought we responded well. We got down into their end and had our chances and then it was a tough break.”Montreal is now 5-2-0 under new coach Claude Julien.“We talked about getting some secondary scoring and we got some tonight,” said Julien. “And you have to try not to stay frustrated and deviate from your game.”Carey Price made 24 saves for his 28th win of the season.Ryan Ellis scored the lone goal for the Predators (32-23-9) before leaving the game with a lower-body injury. Rinne got his body on Byron’s shot but the puck trickled past him — the winger’s first goal in 14 games.“I’ve been doing some really good things lately, and sometimes the puck just doesn’t bounce your way,” said Byron. Rinne stopped 24 of 26 shots in defeat.The loss is Nashville’s first in regulation time in Montreal since Jan. Subban’s first game against Montreal since being traded last summer.“It’s a good feeling,” said Gallagher, who had not scored in 11 games. 15, 2009 as Peter Laviolette’s men saw their four-game winning streak snapped.The Preds were dealt a major blow in the second when Ellis limped off the ice with a right leg injury and did not return. “Secondary scoring won us the game. Former Habs player P.K. “In the third it was an even hockey game. I’m aware I need to produce more and score more goals.”Montreal (36-21-8) netted just 21 goals in 13 games in February and it looked like that trend would carry through into March.Read more: P.K.

Toronto Raptors bide time fighting burnout, waiting for Kyle Lowry

DeMar DeRozan has added extra scoring at times, but the Raptors are careful not to tax their other all-star too much as 21 games remain.Limiting DeRozan’s minutes is critical to avoid burnout, but it’s easier said than done. He was having a career year from three-point range, averaging 3.3 of them a game and shooting 41.7 per cent from beyond the arc.“We definitely lose some three-point shooting with Kyle being out, but we can do it. The team mustered dramatic wins against Boston, Portland and New York in the first three games he missed, but an embarrassing loss to Washington on Wednesday showed glaring examples of what can happen without him against a good opponent.The team had an abysmal three assists in the first three quarters, the result of poor ball movement, low energy and the fact that the players made just 33 of their 90 field-goal attempts.“That’s where we really miss Kyle – he knows the feel of the game and when to get guys involved, including myself,” DeMarre Carroll said. “I think ever since Kyle’s been out, I think I’m averaging only four shots.”Before the injury, sustained Feb. It definitely puts more emphasis on the defence,” said backup point guard Cory Joseph. We’ve been playing down the last couple games and we can’t do that. Some starters may leave earlier in the first – perhaps Jonas Valanciunas – so they can start the second with the reserves and offer some offence, thus avoiding a second-quarter collapse.The 36-25 Raptors are in fourth place in the Eastern Conference with five games over the next 10 days in Washington, Milwaukee, New Orleans, Atlanta and Miami.Lowry will travel with the Raptors on this trip, getting treatment with team doctors and helping his teammates from the bench. We can’t come back and win every game.”The team has to find a way to account for the 22.8 points and 6.9 assists Lowry averaged each night – many of those coming as he led fourth-quarter comeback attempts.He also played essential minutes with the second unit in second quarters and with the key close-out group at the end of close games.The Raptors have given more minutes to Norman Powell – especially now that Terrence Ross left in the trade for Serge Ibaka – but Powell has struggled to hit shots recently. The team anticipates he’ll return by the playoffs, but in the meantime, adjusting to his absence is complicated. Lowry underwent surgery on Tuesday in New York to remove loose bodies (fragments of cartilage or bone) from his right wrist. “Teams are going to do their best job of double-teaming him, they’re going to try to get the ball out of his hands, so we’ve got to be able to be aggressive and confident, knock down shots and take them when they’re there. The Toronto Raptors miss Kyle Lowry in countless ways, from his three-point shooting to his ability to get teammates the ball, from his fourth-quarter heroics to his defence.Toronto’s injured all-star point guard will miss his fifth game Friday as the Raptors open a five-game series with the second game of a home-and-home set with the Washington Wizards. On Wednesday, while he was on the bench in the second quarter, the Wizards went on a 26-1 run, and the Raptors couldn’t recover, eventually losing 105-96.“DeMar’s going to get his offensive game going no matter what, so we can’t just rely on him to carry us throughout the whole game,” Toronto coach Dwane Casey said. We can’t just give him the ball and just go stand in the corner and be like, ‘take us home’ type of thing.”Casey said he won’t change the starting lineup, but he will likely stagger the minutes differently in the first quarter. “We showed we can do it in the Boston game and other games, we just can’t get down by such a big deficit. 15 against Charlotte, Lowry was playing an NBA-leading 37.7 minutes a game.

Alex Burrows scores twice in Senators debut; Ottawa beats Avalanche

It doesn’t matter what team he’s playing for, Alex Burrows has the same strategy for scoring.Burrows scored twice in his debut with the Senators and led his new club to a 2-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday. If you keep doing the right things over and over you’re going to get results,” said Burrows, who was impressed with the play of his new teammates. Their goalie made some good saves and you have to give them some credit. He did, however, make a great right-pad stop off John Mitchell who was alone in tight on Anderson early in the third period.Rene Bourque scored the lone goal for the Avalanche (17-42-3), who were kept in the game with a strong performance from Calvin Pickard who made 40 saves.Bourque scored at 5:25 of the third period breaking Anderson’s shutout bid as he took a pass from Nathan MacKinnon and put a shot over Anderson’s shoulder and in.“It was a tight game all the way through and we were right there at the end with a big third period goal. We wanted to start this home swing on a good note and obviously the two points are big.”Hoffman also collected an assist on Burrows’ first goal as a member of the Senators. After getting the puck from Hoffman, Burrows skated along the left wall and beat Pickard with a shot from the far edge of the faceoff circle at 8:39 of the opening period. “That’s one thing we used to talk about in Vancouver, getting pucks on net, and it’s the same message here in Ottawa.“I said (Thursday) morning it would be the best day if we could win, and we found a way to get it done. Burrows had played his previous 822 games with the Canucks. The Avalanche didn’t get their first shot of the second until the period was half over.Burrows scored his second goal of the game at 15:41 of the second to put Ottawa ahead 2-0, but it was the work of Hoffman that allowed the goal to happen. His first goal was on a seemingly harmless shot from low in the face-off circle.“It’s just getting pucks on net. I like the way we played. Burrows beat Pickard with a quick shot with all five Colorado skaters in the defensive zone against just two Senators.“It’s very nice to see him come in here and starting his career with the Senators off that way,” Hoffman said of Burrows, then adding the win was the biggest thing.“That’s what we wanted, especially coming off our four-game road trip. He was traded by the Vancouver Canucks to Ottawa on Monday in exchange for prospect Jonathan Dahlen. I was really impressed by the way everyone competed, blocking shots and paying the price. That and some very lazy play by Colorado.Hoffman went behind the Avalanche net on a one-man forecheck and stole the puck behind the net before finding Burrows streaking in unchecked from the blue line. They played a great game,” Pickard said.The Senators led 2-0 after two periods and had outshot Colorado 30-16 over that span including 17-6 in the second period. There’s a lot of good players here and if we play the right way we’ll have success.”Hoffman had two assists for the Senators (34-22-6), while Craig Anderson had a relatively quiet night needing only 22 saves for the win.

Paul Byron scores late as Canadiens spoil Subban’s return with Predators

King, a two-time Stanley Cup winner with Los Angeles, played on the fourth line with Michael McCarron and Torrey Mitchell.New additions Andreas Martinsen, Steve Ott and Brandon Davidson were healthy scratches. The defenceman was hurt battling for a loose puck with Montreal’s Alexander Radulov on what appeared to be a harmless play.Montreal’s scoring woes continued into the month of March after netting just 22 goals in 13 games in February.After two scoreless periods for the home side, Gallagher got the Canadiens on the board when his wraparound shot deflected off defenceman Irwin’s skate and through Rinne’s five-hole at 10:55 of the third – Gallagher’s first goal in 11 games.Montreal is now 5-2-0 under new coach Claude Julien.Winger Dwight King, acquired by Montreal at the trade deadline, made his Canadiens debut. Subban’s first game against Montreal since being traded last summer.Brendan Gallagher also scored for Montreal (36-21-8). Rinne got his body on Byron’s shot but the puck trickled past him.The loss is Nashville’s first in regulation time in Montreal since Jan. 15, 2009 as Peter Laviolette’s men saw their four-game winning streak snapped.The Canadiens paid tribute to Subban with a video montage before puck drop. Ryan Ellis scored the lone goal for the Predators (32-23-9) before leaving the game with a lower-body injury. Paul Byron scored with nine seconds left to play as the Montreal Canadiens defeated the visiting Nashville Predators 2-1 on Thursday in P.K. Carey Price made 24 saves as the Canadiens extended their winning streak to four games. A teary-eyed Subban acknowledged the crowd during a lengthy standing ovation.The former Habs defenceman only needed a few shifts to get on the score sheet against his former team. Pekka Rinne stopped 24 of 26 shots in defeat.Byron poked the puck away from Matt Irwin in the neutral zone and chased it down the length of the ice on a breakaway with time running out in the third period. With the Predators playing with the man advantage, Subban passed the puck to Ellis, who fired a slap shot from the point past Price to make it 1-0 for the visitors at 18:25 of the first.The Preds were dealt a major blow in the second when Ellis limped off the ice with a right leg injury and did not return.

IOC ethics committee looking into Rio Olympics payment claims

Diack, whose father Lamine is currently awaiting trial in France on aggravated money laundering and corruption charges, also received $500,000 from Matlock Capital Group through a Russian bank account, Le Monde added. “Already, however, it’s clear that the Rio Games have nothing to do with this.”Rio became the first South American city to host the Olympic games in August. Rio lost the first vote to Madrid but bounced back to win the nomination on a third ballot, by 66 votes to 32. The vote was clean.”Le Monde said that three days before the October 2009 vote in Copenhagen, Pamodzi Consulting, a company owned by Papa Massata Diack received the $1.5 million payment from Matlock Capital Group, a holding company based in the British Virgin Islands. LE Monde also said that Papa Massata Diack had paid almost $300,000 to prominent IOC member Frankie Fredericks, who said he has done nothing wrong and that the money was for “services rendered” to promote the sport in Africa. However, many of the venues and installations have since been abandoned. Papa Massata Diack was banned for life from athletics last year over multi-million dollar corruption claims.Le Monde said Papa Massata Diack transferred almost $300,000 to a company linked to Fredericks, a multiple Olympic and world medalist over 100 and 200metres.Fredericks, now a member of the IAAF’s ruling Council, told Le Monde the money was paid for work he did to promote athletics in Africa between 2007 and 2011.“The payment has nothing whatsoever to do with the Olympic Games and I was not an IAAF board member at the time and did not breach any regulation or rule of ethics,” he told Le Monde.The IOC said: “As far as Mr Fredericks is concerned, he informed the IOC and explained the situation and emphasized his innocence immediately upon being contacted by the journalist.“The IOC trusts that Mr Fredericks will bring all the elements to prove his innocence against these allegations made by Le Monde.“Immediately after a link was made between this contractual payment and the vote for the host city of the Olympic Games 2016, Mr Fredericks himself also turned to the IOC Ethics Commission which is now following up on all the allegations in order to fully clarify this matter.”Andrada said the ongoing investigation by French authorities was focused on Lamine Diack and did not have any connection with Rio’s candidacy.“The Rio Games have already taken place and filled Brazilians with pride, and only when the French have concluded their investigation will it be possible to say who are the beneficiaries of this scheme,” he said. The organizers of the 2016 Rio Olympics denied on Friday that vote buying helped to secure the Games after a French newspaper reported that a Brazilian businessman made payments to the son of an International Olympic Committee member before the vote.Le Monde reported that a company linked to Brazilian businessman Arthur Cesar de Menezes Soares Filho paid $1.5 million to Papa Massata Diack, the son of Lamine Diack, the then-president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) three days before a 2009 decision on the host city for the 2016 Games. Despite concerns over the city’s ability to host the Games during Brazil’s worst recession, the Olympics were held without any major problems. “The French investigation concerns six members of the IOC and six members would not have changed the result at all. The IOC said on Friday that its commission has started investigating the claims.“The IOC remains fully committed to clarifying this situation, working in cooperation with the (French) prosecutor,” the organization said in a statement.A spokesman for the Rio 2016 Games said the allegations did not affect the choice made by IOC delegates to award the Games to Rio.“Rio’s victory was very clear,” Mario Andrada told Reuters.