17 September 2020
Lamine Diack, former head of athletics’ governing body, has been sentenced to two years in prison after being found guilty on charges of corruption related to the Russian doping scandal, a Paris courthouse announced on Wednesday.
Diack, 87, was found guilty of soliciting $4.1 million from Russian athletes suspected of doping to cover up the allegations and allow them to continue competing, including in the 2012 London Olympics.
He was handed a four-year prison sentence and two of which were suspended, and fined $594,000. However the judge said Diack was unlikely to go to jail. “Given your age you can expect conditional release,” she added.
He was once a powerful person in the international sports. He headed International Association of Athletics’ Federations, now World Athletics, for 16 years. He has been under house arrest in France since November 201
His son Papa Massata Diack who was banned for life from athletics in 2016. He was sentenced to five years in prison and a given a 1m euros fine. He was tried in absentia because Senegal refused to extradite him. The judge said $15m was funnelled to the younger Diack’s companies, including commissions and money creamed off contracts and the sale of TV rights while his father was president of Athletics’ Federations.
According to French prosecutors, the doping corruption scheme was first suggested by Lamine Diack at a meeting with the then Russian sports minister, Vitaly Mutko, in November 2011. At that time he solicited £3.1m for concealing the doping. It was also alleged that Diack Sr was involved in a $1.5m payment from Russia to finance election campaigns in Senegal in 2012.