Lamine Diack, former IAAF director convicted of corruption, dies

DAKAR – Lamine Diack, the long-controversial athletics leader who was convicted of blackmailing athletes and accused of taking bribes in an Olympic vote, has died, his family has died. said on Friday. He is 88 years old.

Awa Diack, the niece of a former member of the International Olympic Committee, told the Associated Press that “my uncle Lamine Diack passed away between Thursday night and Friday.”

Diack led athletics’ governing body – then known as the IAAF, now World Athletics – for 16 years. But his name has been a buzzword for corruption in Olympic circles since 2015, when allegations of misconduct surfaced shortly after Diack’s leadership of his sport came to an end.

Diack died in his hometown, Senegal, where he was allowed to return this year from France, where he spent years under house arrest and later convicted of multiple corruption charges related to the abuse of office His outstanding service in world sports.


A former politician in Senegal, Diack became head of the IAAF in 1999 and has seen the sport flourish during his time in power, due in part to the runner’s popularity. Usain Bolt sprint.

Behind the scenes, Diack and his son Papa Massata Diack engaged in misconduct that would compromise the integrity of their sport as well as the IOC bids and votes to choose the host city. Olympic ruler.

They were involved in extorting cash from athletes, to cover up their doping cases before the 2012 London Olympics, and taking bribes from Brazilian officials to help ensure Rio de Janeiro was selected as the winner. host the 2016 Olympics. Among its rivals was a bid in Chicago that was supported at a vote in Denmark by then-President Barack Obama.

An ongoing French investigation has linked Papa Massata Diack to financial misconduct related to Tokyo’s winning bid to host the 2020 Olympics.

The IOC has now phased out traditional bidding campaigns and contests that have proven vulnerable to abuse, and IOC members no longer vote from a wide range of candidates. Instead, a controlled internal process selects a single preference server for IOC members to rubber stamp.


Diack has been convicted Four years in prison, two of them suspended in September 2020 for concealing bribery of Russian athletes in connection with doping cases and Russian funding of political campaigns in Senegal.

In May, Diack returned to Senegal from France, where he was placed under house arrest, after a local football club paid a deposit of around $600,000 to let him leave.

Diack has been convicted of numerous corruption charges during his tenure, some in connection with a doping scandal in Russia. His son was sentenced to five years in prison in absentia.

The conviction of the former IAAF president marks a spectacular fall from favor for such an influential figure in the world Olympic sports scene.

At last week’s sentencing in Brazil against the country’s once most senior Olympic official Carlos Nuzman, the court said it had accepted bribes so that the Diack family could help secure some IOC votes for Rio next year. 2009.


At his own trial, Diack was also found guilty of being part of a conspiracy to squeeze 3.2 million euros ($3.8 million) in bribes from Russian athletes suspected of doping.

The hidden money allows the athletes, who should have been suspended, to continue competing. Diack was also found guilty of breach of trust charges but acquitted of money laundering charges.

His son, Papa Massata, has been a longtime IAAF marketing consultant. The French judge said $15 million had been transferred to the younger Diack’s companies from various contracts negotiated by the IAAF during his father’s time in power.


Dunbar reports from Geneva


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Huynh Nguyen

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