General

Former IAAF chief Lamine Diack attends court hearing

AFP-JIJI

Lamine Diack, the former head of track and field’s world governing body, returned to court in Paris on Friday for questioning over bribery charges and the allocation of major athletics events and two Olympic Games.

The 86-year-old Senegalese arrived in court at around 9.30 a.m. for questioning by an examining magistrate and left at midday.

This is a second French investigation into Diack and his son, Papa Massata Diack.

They were also indicted in March 2019 for accepting millions of dollars to cover up positive Russian doping tests.

That trial was due to begin on Jan. 13 the magistrate adjourned it until at least June, saying more time was needed to examine testimony by Papa Massata collected in Dakar in November.

In addition to running the International Athletics Federation, since renamed World Athletics, Lamine Diack was an influential member of the International Olympic Committee. He has been forbidden to leave France.

The younger Diack was a marketing consultant for the IAAF. He has refused to cooperate with French authorities and remains in his native Senegal.

Despite two international arrest warrants issued by France, the Senegalese authorities have said they will not extradite him.

At a hearing in June, the elder Diack insisted he was not to blame.

“I tell myself that I should have paid more attention to my son and others,” he said. “When I read the file, I discover certain things. I was dumfounded.”

The French justice system considers that it has jurisdiction in the cases because it suspects the son, Papa Massata Diack, of laundering €85,000 through a Paris jewelery shop.

Coronavirus banner