Lamine Diack former chief of the IAAF now renamed World Athletics appeared at a court in Paris on Monday, to stand trial on corruption charges.
He spoke only to confirm his identity on Monday and is due to testify on Wednesday (10.6.20) according to his lawyer William Bourdon who said Diack was “serene and determined”.
Senegalese Diack has been accused of corruption and money laundering relating to a Russian doping scandal.
Prosecutors allege he solicited close to $4 million from athletes suspected of doping violations in order to cover it up and allow them to continue competing in international competitions including the 2012 London Olympics.
He has denied any wrong doing and his lawyers say the allegations are baseless.
Trial in Absentia
His son Papa Massata who is also an accused in the case, fled to Senegal from France once the investigation began.
He is now tried in absentia. The court rejected submitted by his lawyer requesting the trial be postponed due to border restrictions because of Covid-19 crisis. Senegal has refused to extradite him.
If convicted Diack 87, could face up to 10 years in jail. He was president of the World Athletics body from 1999-2015 during which he exerted enormous influence in the Athletic world and in Senegal.
Prosecutors also allege that the ill-gotten money was used to help fund the 2012 election campaign of Senegalese President Macky Sall.
The alleged bribing by Russian athletes, led to the nation being banned from several International competitions. World Athletics allege Russia involved in ‘State-sponsored doping’ between 2011-2015.