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Africa Sports News of Tuesday, 16 February 2021


Ex-IAAF President Diack’s ban on leaving France lifted

Lamine Diack, the disgraced former president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), may soon leave France, but must first raise €500,000 (£435,000 / $605,000).

By Radio France International, a French court accepted a request from Diack’s legal team to lift the 87-year-old’s ban on leaving the country in December.

This would allow Diack to return to his native Senegal, but a deposit of €500,000 must first be paid.

Last September, Diack was sentenced to two years in prison after being convicted of corruption, and given another two-year suspended sentence.

Due to his age, the former IAAF leader – now World Athletics – did not have to serve jail time, however.

Diack was convicted of several corruption charges linked to the Russian doping scandal, but found not guilty of “organized money laundering” by the Paris Criminal Court.

A group called “Collectif Lamine Diack” has set up a fundraising campaign to disburse €500,000 to facilitate Diack’s exit from France.

“I do not know the financial situation of this family”, declared the president of the Majib Sène group. Radio France International.

“My duty is to participate in any action likely to promote the release of Lamine Diack. And as this return is conditioned by the payment of this deposit, the family has launched an appeal for solidarity, and we subscribe to this idea. ”

Lamine Diack ran what is now World Athletics for 15 years. Diack’s son Papa Massata was also sentenced in September and jailed for five years in absentia because he refused to be extradited from Senegal.

Lamine and Papa Massata Diack were further ordered to pay World Athletics € 5million (£4.6million / $5.9million) in damages for breach of trust.

The Diacks are also being investigated for suspected corruption in the processes that led Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo to obtain accommodation rights for the 2016 and 2020 Olympics, respectively.

This investigation is ongoing and saw Lamine Diack appear before a French judge in September, weeks after the conclusion of the other corruption case.

French prosecutors said they “saw a mechanism of corruption”.

Diack was a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) when Tokyo and Rio received the, and payments worth $2million (£1.5million / 1.7million) made to Black Singapore-based Tidings – linked to Papa Massata Diack – that were carried out ahead of the 2013 vote won by Tokyo are of interest to prosecutors.

Former Japanese Olympic Committee Chairman Tsunekazu Takeda, chairman of the Tokyo 2020 bid committee, is also under investigation for allegedly authorizing payments to Black Tidings.

Diack was President of the IAAF from 1999 to 2015 and a member of the IOC between 1999 and 2013 but resigned as an honorary member in 2015 after his arrest.

The former Senegalese official has been under house arrest in France since 2015.

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