Former IAAF (now World Athletics) president Lamine Diack has been found guilty of corruption and breach of trust by a French court. Diack was at the centre of multiple doping coverups involving Russian athletes, and he reportedly received millions of dollars to help guilty athletes avoid convictions. At the 87-year-old Diack’s trial in June, prosecutors requested that he be sentenced to four years in prison along with a fine, but he got off with a lighter sentence of just two years, plus a fine of 500,000 euros (C$782,000). Diack was president of the IAAF from 1999 to 2015.
#BREAKING Former IAAF (now World Athletics) president Lamine Diack given a four-year prison sentence of which two are suspended for corruption in covering up doping cases
The 87-year-old has the right to appeal
— AFP Sport English (@AFP_Sport) September 16, 2020
As reported by the Associated Press, the trial’s chief judge, Rose-Marie Hunault, outlined Diack’s involvement in the Russian doping scandal, for which he was paid close to C$5 million. “The money was paid in exchange for a program of ‘full protection,’” Hunault said, which allowed guilty athletes “purely and simply to escape sanctions.”
Diack was first charged in 2015, and he has been under house arrest in France ever since. He was originally charged for corruption and money laundering, although the French court found him not guilty on the latter charge. While Diack has been handed a sentence, he still has the right to an appeal.
Lamine Diack, former track and field head, sentenced to two years prison by French judge after being found guilty of corruption in Russian doping scandal. His son Papa remains in Senegal, and is subject to French charges.
— tariq panja (@tariqpanja) September 16, 2020
Diack’s son, Papa Massata Diack, was also sentenced to prison and fined on Wednesday, although he was not present in court. He worked as a marketing consultant for the IAAF while his father was head of the organization, and Hunault said he received almost C$20 million from TV deals and other contracts, which was then laundered through other companies.
The younger Diack has stayed in Senegal throughout the trial, and while French authorities have requested he be extradited so he can be properly sentenced, Senegalese officials have refused to do so. While he was not present on Wednesday, the court still sentenced him to five years in prison and handed him a fine of 1 million euros (C$1.5 million).