Lamine Diack, former IAAF boss jailed for corruption
Lamine Diack, the former head of world athletics’ governing body, was convicted in France on Wednesday of corruption in a Russian doping scandal and sentenced to spend at least two years in jail.
Diack, 87, was found guilty of accepting bribes from athletes suspected of doping, to cover up test results and let them continue competing, including in the 2012 London Olympics.
The court also found Diack guilty of accepting Russian money to help finance Macky Sall’s campaign for the 2012 Senegal presidential election, in exchange for slowing anti-doping procedures, Sky Sports reports.
Prosecutors said Diack had solicited bribes totalling €3.45m (£3.15m) from athletes suspected of drugs cheating. The presiding judge said the former long-jumper’s actions had “undermined the values of athletics and the fight against doping.”
The court handed Diack a four-year prison sentence, two years of which are suspended. It also imposed the maximum fine of 500,000 euros (£457,000).
Diack was once one of the most influential men in the sport, leading the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) from 1999 to 2015. The IAAF is now known as World Athletics.
A World Athletics statement released on Wednesday night read: “This has been a long five years and we would like to thank the French Prosecutors and the Paris Criminal Court for their time, detailed work and deliberations in to this case.
“Whilst we are disappointed this happened in our sport, we are grateful for the strong and clear decisions that have been taken against the individuals involved and charged with these crimes, and we would like to reassure everyone that the reforms our Congress approved in 2016 will ensure that similar actions by individuals can never happen again in our sport.
“We are grateful for the damages awarded by the Paris Criminal Court totalling €16m for embezzled funds and for reputational damage suffered as a direct consequence of these crimes and the resulting media coverage.
“As the Court acknowledged, this damage has impacted World Athletics’ finances and had a negative impact on World Athletics’ image and reputation in a deep and lasting way. We will do everything we can to recover the monies awarded, and return them to the organisation for the development of athletics globally.”