After four hours of indictment, the prosecutor François-Xavier Dulin agreed that it was necessary to take into account the age of Lamine Diack, “at the evening of his life” at 87 years old, but that the Senegalese had committed “a huge offense […] to the probity that has caused worldwide harm ”.
The former president (1999-2015) of the International Athletics Federation and his son, who had control over marketing at the IAAF, are on trial in Paris, along with four other people for having delayed, from 2011, disciplinary sanctions against Russian athletes suspected of doping.
The National Financial Prosecutor’s Office therefore demanded this Wednesday four years in prison against the former boss of world athletics Lamine Diack, and five for his son Papa Massata, at the trial of a system of corruption against a background of doping in Russia and d sponsorship money. Against the father and the son, absent at his trial and against whom an arrest warrant was requested, the financial prosecutors also claimed a fine of 500,000 euros and a ban on practicing in sport.
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Sponsor contracts, television rights
Their goal according to the accusation: to get a helping hand from the authorities in Moscow for the renewal of sponsorship and broadcasting contracts with the Russian state bank VTB and the public TV channel RTR, in view of the 2013 Moscow Worlds. But also receive funds from the Russian government to finance the opposition to outgoing Abdoulaye Wade during the 2012 presidential election in Senegal, won by Macky Sall. Lamine Diack himself spontaneously raised this consideration during the investigation, speaking of the sum of $ 1.5 million, only to deny it during the trial.
Often confused, he confined himself to admitting that he had given the order to stagger the sanctions against the Russians, in order, according to him, to save the IAAF from a fatal scandal for its finances.
The prosecution also demanded four years in prison and the confiscation of 1.8 million euros against the former president of the Russian federation Valentin Balakhnitchev, described as close to Vladimir Putin at the material time, and two years in prison and 100,000 euros against former coach Alexei Melnikov.
Absent and also targeted by requests for an arrest warrant, they are accused of having extracted funds from doped athletes in exchange for “total protection”, for an amount estimated at 3.45 million euros. Facts that Lamine Diack claims to ignore.
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The Diack father and son
Tried for corruption, laundering in organized gangs and breach of trust, he is also accused of having allowed his son, prosecuted for concealing breach of trust, corruption and laundering in organized gangs, to appropriate several million euros in negotiations with sponsors. Either by taxing his companies as intermediaries, or by taking “exorbitant” commissions, when he was already paid $ 1,200 a day as a marketing consultant to the IAAF.
“PMD” is “everywhere and all the time and his father imposes it everywhere,” summed up François-Xavier Dulin, describing the son as “a crooked businessman”. Now chaired by Sebastian Coe, World Athletics, the new name of the IAAF, is claiming more than € 41.2 million in damages from defendants.
The two prosecutors methodically dissected the case, enumerating the numerous emails, letters, transfers which accredit the accusations of corruption and describing the IAAF as a “paradise of conflicts of interest”, which has become “the object of its president”, who has “almost a rank of head of state” and “swims in money”.
In the early 2010s, the biological passport, a new weapon in anti-doping, made it possible to tighten the noose on Russia, and in November 2011, a list of 23 suspect athletes was established in the anti-doping department of the IAAF.
But Lamine Diack, her son and one of his advisers Habib Cisse flew to Moscow, where the first will be decorated by the president of the time Dmitri Medvedev. In Monaco, at the IAAF headquarters, disciplinary files drag on, allowing several athletes to participate in the London 2012 Olympics, and for some to be sacred.
The prosecution requested two years in prison, one of which was suspended, and a 195,000 euro fine against the former anti-doping boss of the federation Gabriel Dollé, 78, and three years in prison, including 18 months of suspension , and a fine of 100,000 euros against Habib Cissé, as well as a ban on practicing the profession of lawyer.
The debates end this Thursday with defense pleadings.
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