Athletics

Former head of the IAAF under investigation over corruption allegations

Lamine Diack, former head of IAAF
Lamine Diack, former head of IAAF AFP PHOTO / GREG BAKER

French police have charged former world athletics president Lamine Diack with corruption over suspicions he took bribes to cover up doping cases, investigators said this week. The 82-year-old Diack was charged after police had arrived at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) headquarters, in Monaco.

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The Diack family keeps on making the headlines. Early this week, Ex-IAAF chief Lamine Diack was officially charged by French police, with corruption over suspicions he took bribes for covering up doping cases.

This comes just as his sons and Russian athletics chiefs were accused of blackmailing athletes suspected of doping to let them keep competing, according to a secret World Anti-Doping Agency inquiry quoted by the Mediapart news website on Thursday.

Mediapart said it had gotten its information thanks to a report by a WADA independent commission, due to be made public Monday 9th of November.

According to Mediapart, six Russian athletes, including top marathon runner Lilya Shobukhova, were the targets of blackmail attempts by Russian athletics federation officials.

Mediapart reveals that Shobukhova, who had her ban reduced after giving evidence to IAAF investigators, handed almost 525 000 euros between 2012 and 2014 to a Russian coach, Alexey Melnikov, who acted as an intermediary.

The WADA report added that Diack's two sons, Pape Massata Diack and Khalil Diack, were alleged to have asked for 460 000 euros from Turkey's 1500m women's Olympic champion Asli Cakir Alptekin in November 2012, but she refused.

The WADA report says that the Diack family used a Singapore-based company Black Tidings for money transfers.

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