Former IAAF chief to go on trial for corruption, money laundering

Lamine Diack [Gallo Images]
Former president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Lamine Diack will be tried in France for graft and money laundering, judicial sources said on Monday.

The trial will commence after a four-year investigation into doping cover-ups, extortion and bribe-taking in world athletics.

Diack and his son Papa Massata were last month formally accused by financial prosecutors of a host of illicit doings during his time with the world athletics organization.

Money laundering alone carries a jail term of up to 10 years.

Diack led the IAAF from 1999-2015, and was one of the most influential men in athletics.

The 86-year-old and his son Massata have consistently denied wrongdoing.

Prosecutors began their probe in 2015 shortly after the IAAF ethics commission and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) uncovered evidence a Russian marathon runner paid 600,000 euros ($683,220) to cover up a positive drug test, allowing her to compete in the London 2012 Olympic Games.

In their indictment of the former IAAF chief, prosecutors highlighted what they describe as the “extremely complacent” attitude of the organization towards the Russian athletics federation. They set out the relations between a number of IAAF and national federation officials allegedly involved in corrupt practices.

According to the prosecutors, Diack and his son, who oversees a sports consulting business called Black Tidings, solicited payments from athletes, either directly or indirectly, totaling 3.45 million euros in exchange for covering up positive doping tests and allowing athletes to go on competing.