By ANGELA CHARLTON
PARIS (AP) — Former Olympic sprinter Frankie Fredericks has been handed preliminary charges 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, part of an international effort to investigate suspected Olympic corruption.
Fredericks, a member of the International Olympic Committee, has said he is innocent. The Namibian sprinter is suspected of links to 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.