Lamine Diack: Former athletics chief’s trial delayed until June

Athletics faces crisis – IAAF boss Lamine Diack, speaking to BBC Sport’s Dan Roan in February 2015

The trial of Lamine Diack, the disgraced former head of athletics’ world governing body the IAAF, has been delayed until June.

The 86-year-old Senegalese faces corruption and money-laundering charges linked to the Russian doping scandal.

The trial was due to start in France on Monday.

But new documents were submitted to the Paris court concerning testimony that his son and co-defendant Papa Massata Diack gave in Senegal in November.

The BBC has learned the IAAF, now called World Athletics, is seeking 41.2m euros (£35.3m) in compensation from the six defendants as a result of the scandal.

The governing body has lodged a claim based on loss of sponsorship revenue, damage to reputation and potential loss of earnings.

Diack Sr was investigated by French authorities for four years over claims he took payments of more than 3m euros to cover up cheating.

Having begun on Monday, the long-awaited trial was halted almost immediately when prosecutors revealed they had received last minute new evidence, and asked for a delay.

All parties in the case were given time to review the documents, which include a record of a hearing at which Diack Jr gave evidence and bank records. He remains in Senegal and the country has refused to extradite him.

Earlier Diack Sr arrived at court flanked by lawyers and security staff. His co-defendants, former IAAF anti-doping chief Gabrile Dolle and lawyer Habib Cisse, also attended court.

Former Russian athletics chief and IAAF treasurer Valentin Balakhnichev and Russia’s ex-middle distance coach Alexei Melnikov will be tried in their absence.

All six defendants strenuously deny the charges.

After the adjournment was announced, Diack Sr, who has been under house arrest in Paris since November 2015, asked to be allowed to return to Senegal to see his family.

But after considering his plea, the panel of three judges decided he would have to remain in Paris.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here