Track and Field

Lamine Diack, former IAAF head, suspected of receiving bribes

Lamine Diack's family dismissed what it called the "excessive and insignificant accusations" after the former IAAF head was placed under investigation.

Family dismisses accusations that Diack took $1.4M in bribes

Former IAAF President Lamine Diack has been accused of taking large bribes to cover up positive doping tests by Russian athletes. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

The former head of world track and field is suspected of receiving over 1 million euros ($1.4 million) in bribes in 2011 to cover up positive doping tests of Russian athletes, the office of France's financial prosecutor said on Thursday.
 
Lamine Diack's family dismissed what it called the "excessive and insignificant accusations" and the acting head of the Russian athletics federation said Russia had nothing to fear from the latest scandal to rock world athletics.
 
Diack, the former head of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), was placed under formal investigation in France earlier this week on suspicion of corruption and money laundering, prosecutors said.
 
The accusations revolve around the cover-up of alleged drug cheating by six Russian athletes, the prosecutor's office added, including one who should not have been allowed to participate in the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
 
"The investigations will have to determine the origins of these sums," a spokesman for the prosecutor's office told Reuters, confirming an earlier media report.
 
"It's difficult to determine whether the entirety of it comes from the Russian athletics federation, but at least a part of it has gone through this federation."
 
In a statement issued to Reuters, Diack's family said 16 months of investigation by the IAAF ethics committee led by British lawyer Michael Beloff had not unveiled anything substantial so far.
 
"The coming days will demonstrate the insignificance of these surreal accusations," the Senegalese man's family added.
 
Reuters was not immediately able to reach Diack himself for comment.
 
The spokesman at France's financial prosecutor's office said Diack was released on bail of 500,000 euros and banned from leaving the country.
 
Russian athletes were at the centre of allegations this year that the IAAF had failed to investigate hundreds of dubious blood tests carried out between 2001 and 2012.
 
Earlier this week, Nikita Kamaev of Russia's anti-doping agency RUSADA said in an interview with the Russian R-Sport news agency that his organisation was ready to help French investigators if contacted.
 
The French investigation followed a complaint by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which has scheduled a news conference for Monday to address certain findings of its own investigation.
 
WADA said its goal was "to investigate the validity of allegations of doping practices; corrupt practices around sample collection and results management; and, other ineffective administration of anti-doping processes that implicate Russia, the IAAF, athletes, coaches, trainers, doctors and other members of athletes' entourages; as well as, the accredited laboratory based in Moscow and the Russian Anti-Doping Agency."
 
The IAAF said it was cooperating with the French investigation.

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