It is fascinating that Lamine Diack, the former president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) now World Athletics is conducting himself on the stand while on trial for various corruption charges in Paris, France.
On the first day of questioning, he threw his son, Papa Massata Diack, under the bus by referring to him as a thug. His son is a co-defendant, however, has refused to be extradited to Paris from Senegal. Sounds more like a coward.
The elder Diack had also claimed that he was trying to be careful with Russia amidst the revelations of their systematic doping while at the same time protecting the books of the IAAF.
This man is coming across as a saint. His lawyers may have conjured up a great defence.
Monday, he admitted that he should have been more vigilant during his 16 years as president. If he kowtows and begs forgiveness at age 87, it may seem harsh to send him to jail for the remainder of his life.
Perhaps by throwing his son under the bus, the prosecutors will get their pound of flesh.
It appears that Lamine Diack is feeding him to the wolves.
Perhaps Lamine is the thug.
From Inside the Games
Former International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) President Lamine Diack has admitted that he “unquestionably” should have been more vigilant during his time at the helm of the organisation.
The admission came after prompting from one of his own lawyers, William Bourdon, as his trial for corruption, influence-trafficking and laundering money continued in Paris, as reported by Agence France-Presse.
The conduct of his son, Papa Massata Diack – a co-defendant who has refused to be extradited from Senegal – has again come under the microscope, with one prosecutor lamenting a “total lack of cooperation” from the African country.
The court heard how Papa Massata, who handled valuable marketing rights for the IAAF, allegedly made millions of euros in “exorbitant” and illegal commissions.
He is alleged to have siphoned off €10 million (£9 million/$11.3 million) in one instance alone, when Russian bank VTB made a payment of €29 million (£26.1 million/$32.8 million) to sponsor the IAAF – since rebranded as World Athletics – from 2007 to 2011 but the International Federation only recieved €19 million (£17.1 million/$21.5 million).
Lamine Diack said he was surprised to learn of this, and so too that Japanese marketing giant Dentsu being responsible for many of the IAAF’s media and marketing rights allowed companies owned by Papa Massata to act as as an intermediary when deals were made.
Per Agence France-Presse, judge Rose Marie-Hinault asked Lamine Diack: “Didn’t you have a problem with your son intervening with two caps, being paid by the IAAF and receiving sponsorship money?”
The 87-year-old’s stuttering response came, “I thought he could sell.”