Lamine Diack, Ex IAAF Chief Convicted of Corruption, Dies

1 year ago 117

DAKAR, Senegal—Lamine Diack, the arguable long-time person of way and tract who was convicted of extorting wealth from athletes and accused of taking bribes successful an Olympic hosting vote, has died, his household said Friday. He was 88.

Awa Diack, niece of the erstwhile International Olympic Committee member, told The Associated Press that “my uncle Lamine Diack passed distant Thursday to Friday night.“

Diack led way and field’s governing body—then known arsenic the IAAF, present World Athletics—for 16 years. But his sanction has go a byword for corruption successful Olympic circles since 2015, arsenic allegations of wrongdoing emerged soon aft Diack’s enactment of his athletics ended.

Diack died successful his location country, Senegal, wherever helium was allowed to instrumentality this twelvemonth from France aft being detained nether location apprehension for respective years and past convicted of assorted corruption charges linked to abuses of his salient positions successful satellite sports.

“With the decease of Lamine Diack, Senegal loses 1 of its astir illustrious sons,” the westbound African country’s President Macky Sall said via Twitter.

A erstwhile person successful Senegal, Diack became caput of the IAAF successful 1999 and saw the athletics flourish during his clip successful charge, successful portion due to the fact that of the popularity of sprinter Usain Bolt.

Behind the scenes, Diack and his lad Papa Massata Diack were progressive successful wrongdoing that would taint the integrity of their athletics and the IOC’s bidding contests and votes to take Olympic big cities.

They were linked to extorting currency from runners, to screen up their doping cases earlier the 2012 London Olympics, and taking bribes from Brazilian officials to assistance guarantee Rio de Janeiro was picked arsenic the 2016 Olympics host.

An ongoing French probe has linked Papa Massata Diack to fiscal wrongdoing connected to Tokyo’s winning bid to big the 2020 Olympics.

The IOC has present scrapped the accepted bid campaigns and contests that proved susceptible to abuse, and IOC members nary longer ballot from a scope of candidates. Instead, a controlled in-house process picks a azygous preferred big for IOC members to rubber-stamp.

Diack was sentenced to 4 years successful prison, 2 of them suspended, successful September 2020 for covering up the outgo of bribes by Russian athletes progressive successful doping cases and the financing by Russia of governmental campaigns successful Senegal.

In May, Diack returned location to Senegal from France, wherever helium had been nether location arrest, aft a section shot nine paid a enslaved of astir $600,000 to fto him leave.

Diack was convicted connected aggregate charges of corruption during his tenure, immoderate of it related to the Russian doping scandal. His lad was sentenced successful his lack to 5 years successful prison.

AP21337304624304 Lamine Diack arrives astatine the Paris courthouse, connected Jan. 13, 2020. (Thibault Camus/AP Photo)

The erstwhile IAAF president’s condemnation marked a spectacular autumn from grace for specified an influential fig successful the satellite of Olympic sports.

At the sentencing past week successful Brazil of its one-time astir elder Olympic authoritative Carlos Nuzman, the tribunal was told bribes were paid truthful that the Diack household could assistance unafraid respective IOC votes for Rio successful 2009.

The years-long lawsuit besides implicated 1 of Africa’s apical way athletes, four-time Olympic medalist Frank Fredericks of Namibia who roseate arsenic an IOC subordinate to instrumentality a spot connected its enforcement board. The IOC suspended Fredericks aft French investigators revealed helium got a $300,000 outgo connected the time of the Rio ballot successful October 2009 routed via the Diacks.

At his ain trial, Lamine Diack was besides recovered blameworthy of being portion of a strategy that squeezed 3.2 cardinal euros ($3.8 million) successful bribes retired of Russian athletes suspected of doping.

The hush wealth allowed the athletes, who should person been suspended, to support competing. Diack was besides recovered blameworthy connected breach of spot charges but acquitted of wealth laundering.

His son, Papa Massata, worked arsenic a long-time IAAF selling consultant. The French justice said $15 cardinal was funneled to the younger Diack’s companies from assorted contracts negotiated by the IAAF portion his begetter was successful charge.

Even earlier helium became IAAF president, Lamine Diack took irregular currency payments from the Swiss sports selling bureau ISL that was aboriginal astatine the halfway of a kickbacks ungraded that rocked satellite shot assemblage FIFA.

The IOC morals committee formally warned Diack successful 2011 aft a British tv programme elaborate ISL payments to Diack successful 1993 amounting to $30,000 and 30,000 French francs. At the clip Diack was a vice president astatine the IAAF, which was negotiating a woody with the selling agency.

Diack was a afloat IOC subordinate for 15 years until 2014, past got an honorary rank which ended the adjacent twelvemonth erstwhile the extortion of athletes was elaborate arsenic portion of the Russian doping scandal.

During the French investigation, Diack reportedly said nether questioning that helium asked for astir $1.6 cardinal from Russian interests successful 2011 to enactment absorption candidates successful upcoming elections successful Senegal. The 2012 statesmanlike ballot was won by Sall, who aboriginal denied getting backing from Diack for his campaign.

Sall wrote Friday connected Twitter that Diack was “a antheral of large dimension. My heartfelt condolences to the full Nation.”

By Babacar Dione and Graham Dunbar

The Associated Press