France’s financial prosecutor calls for former IAAF President Diack to stand trial

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Disgraced former president of the International Association of Athletics Federations Lamine Diack and his son Papa Massata Diack were accused of extortion, bribery, money laundering, and other financial crimes.

Papa Massata Diack took personal payments as bribery for awarding world championships to nations that bid on the events. Lamine extorted drug cheats of hundreds of thousands of dollars each.

France calls for the two Senegalese to stand trial.

From Inside the Games

France’s financial prosecutor has recommended that Lamine Diack, the former President of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), and his son Papa Massata Diack stand trial for alleged corruption and money laundering.

Agence France-Presse reports the prosecutor wants four other people to stand trial, including Diack’s former adviser, Habib Cissé, and former IAAF anti-doping director Gabriel Dolle.

It has been recommended both men should be charged with “passive corruption”.

Investigating magistrate Renaud Van Ruymbeke has three months to decide whether the case should go to trial.

The French probe began in November 2015 when Lamine Diack, who was the IAAF President from 1999 to 2015, was placed under formal investigation on suspicion of corruption and money laundering.

He had been accused of receiving bribes to cover up doping violations by Russian athletes.

France’s financial prosecutor has alleged that Senegalese Papa Massata Diack, a former IAAF marketing consultant, had been at the heart of a corruption scheme in international sports – an accusation he has denied.

Papa Massata Diack was banned for life by the IAAF in January 2016, alongside Valentin Balakhnichev, the former President of the Russian Athletics Federation and treasurer of the IAAF, and Alexei Melnikov, the former senior coach of Russia’s athletics team.

It came after he was charged in relation to payments totalling around £435,000 ($554,000/€496,000) made by Russia’s Liliya Shobukhova, the 2010 London Marathon winner and a three-time Chicago Marathon champion, in order to cover up doping violations.

Papa Massata Diack is also linked to the corruption case that led to Tsunekazu Takeda resigning as an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member in March.

Takeda, who is also set to step down as Japanese Olympic Committee President next month, is being investigated in France for “active corruption”.

It concerns payments worth $2 million (£1.6 million/€1.8 million) made to Singaporean company Black Tidings before Tokyo was awarded the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics at the IOC Session in Buenos Aires in 2013.

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