Lamine Diack: France to try former IAAF president on corruption charges

Tuesday June 25 2019

Lamine Diack.

Lamine Diack, International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) former president, at a press conference in Beijing, China, on August 21, 2015. He is to stand trial in France on corruption and money-laundering charges. PHOTO | AFP 

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Lamine Diack, the ex-boss of athletics' world governing body the IAAF, is to stand trial in France on corruption and money-laundering charges.

The 86-year-old, whose son Papa Massata Diack has also been charged but fled to their native Senegal, has been under house arrest since November 2015.

Diack senior has been investigated over allegations he took payments for deferring sanctions against Russian drugs cheats.

They both deny all the charges.

Former French long jump champion Diack was in charge of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) for 16 years and initially praised by Lord Coe when the British double Olympic champion replaced him as IAAF president in August 2015.

But within three months of Coe's election, details emerged of Diack's alleged involvement in a conspiracy to bury positive drug tests by Russian athletes in return for money.


Four others face prosecution - 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.

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.

The West African country has rejected several requests to extradite his son.