Diack to face corruption charges in France

86-year-old former IAAF boss to stand trial In France

Former (IAAF president Lamine Diack has been under house arrest in France since  2015.

Former (IAAF president Lamine Diack has been under house arrest in France since 2015.

 

Lamine Diack, the former boss of athletics’ world governing body the IAAF, and his son Papa Massata Diack are to stand trial in France on corruption and money-laundering charges.

The 86-year-old has been under house arrest in France since November 2015 but his son fled to their native Senegal and has never been questioned by the French authorities. Senegal has rejected several extradition requests.

A former French long jump champion, Diack ran the IAAF in autocratic fashion for 16 years and was initially praised for his leadership by Sebastian Coe when the British double Olympic champion replaced him in August 2015.

But Coe was made to regret those words within three months of his election when the first details emerged of Diack’s involvement in a conspiracy to bury positive drug tests by Russian athletes in return for money.

This conspiracy also involved Russian athletics chief and IAAF treasurer Valentin Balakhnichev, Russia’s ex-national middle distance coach Alexei Melnikov, Diack’s former aide Habib Cisse and the IAAF’s ex-anti-doping boss Gabriel Dolle. These four will also face trial on the same charges.

The French authorities have also been investigating allegations that Diack received bribes for his votes in several bidding contests for high-profile sports events. The former International Olympic Committee member is claimed to have controlled the votes of several African colleagues.

It is alleged that Diack, a former mayor of Senegal’s capital Dakar, used these payments to fund political campaigns in his homeland, as well as a lavish lifestyle in Monaco, where the IAAF is based.

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