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Saturday, April 20 2024

Former athletics chief Diack faces court over corruption

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Paris: Former president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (now World Athletics) Lamine Diack who is facing a potential 10-year sentence on charges of accepting millions of dollars to cover up Russian doping tests, will go to court here on Monday.

The 87-year-old Senegalese was charged with ‘giving and receiving bribes’, ‘breach of trust’ and ‘organized money laundering’ for obtaining 1.5 million dollars to cover up doping cases of 23 Russians, so they were allowed to compete at the 2012 London Olympics and the 2013 World Athletics Championships in Moscow, reports Xinhua news agency.

Diack was in charge of the world athletics governing body during 1999-2015. He has been under investigation since 2016, facing a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a heavy fine. Diack’s former legal advisor and former IAAF anti-doping chief will also appear in court.

Papa Massata Diack, son of Lamine Diack, was accused of playing a ‘central role’ in the network of corruption. He was implicated through the payment of 450 thousand euros from Russian runner Liliya Shobukhova, allegedly to have her blood passport case delayed in order to compete in the 2012 Olympic marathon, as revealed by German TV station ARD in 2014.

Diack refused to leave Senegal despite two international arrest warrants issued by France, the Senegalese authorities said they will not extradite him.

The case is due to run for six days. It was postponed in January because of procedural problems.

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