Did Lamine Diack’s lawyer play the race card in Paris court?

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Did Lamine Diack’s lawyer, Simon Ndiaya, passively play the race card during the Paris trial on Thursday? If so, the timing could not be more opportunistic and gaudy.

Diack is up against various corruption charges laid against him from his 16-year tenure as president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF, now World Athletics).

“Ignore appearances and be wary of purely moral judgements,” Ndiaye urged judges.

“Resist the temptation to make this case an exemplary case, and Lamine Diack a scapegoat to purify the IAAF,” he added.

The 87-year-old Senegalese native was extradited to Paris for the trial and faces up to four years in prison and a fine of $560,000 USD. He was under house arrest since 2015.

Meanwhile, his son, who refused to be extradited is also up on corruption charges. Prosecutors are seeking a five-year prison sentence and $500,000 fine against Papa Massata.

If his ethnicity or race was passively pointed out, it apparently wasn’t gaudy enough as another Diack lawyer sought sympathy in regards to his age: 87.

William Bourdon said, “Do not make a decision that stops him from dying with dignity, surrounded by his loved ones, on his native land.”

Others who are up on various charges, in this case, include Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) President Valentin Balakhnichev as well as former head distance coach of the Russian national team Alexei Melnikov. As is, ex-advisor Habib Cissé, and former IAAF anti-doping chief Gabriel Dollé.

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