Lamine Diack: Former World Athletics president sentenced to prison in France over corruption

Lamine Diack, the former president of athletics’ governing body, has been sentenced to at least two years in prison and fined €500,000 (£457,000) after being found guilty of corruption by the French courts.

Diack has been convicted of accepting bribes from athletes suspected of doping to cover up test results and allow them to compete, including at the 2012 London Olympic Games and 2013 Moscow World Championships.  

During his time as head of the International Association of Athletics Federation between 1999 and 2015, it is believed that Diack took payments of more than €3m to cover up cheating.

In the trial, prosecutors also alleged that Diack accepted a $1.5m bribe from Russia to finance Macky Sall’s 2012 presidential election campaign in his homeland of Senegal in exchange to slow down doping cases involving Russian athletes.

The judge said that the former long-jumper’s actions had “undermined the values of athletics and the fight against doping”.

The 87-year-old has been under house arrest in Paris since November 2015, and it is not yet clear whether Diack will actually spend any time in prison.  

Diack’s lawyers announced he would be appealing against this decision, which they called “unfair and inhumane”, and have urged the judges “not to take a decision that stops him from dying with dignity, surrounded by his loved ones, on his native land”.

Diack was previously one of the most influential figures in world sport, having led the IAAF for 16 years until replaced by Lord Seb Coe in 2015.  

Diack’s son, Papa Massata Diack, was banned for life from athletics in 2016, and is accused of being at the centre of the scheme amongst several others. He has been sentenced to five years in prison and given a €1m fine (£913,000).

Source: Read Full Article