Trial of former IAAF president Diack set to begin on 8 June
The start of the trial of Lamine Diack, the former president of the IAAF, track and field’s governing body now known as World Athletics, is reported to have been moved back five days to 8 June.
The 86-year-old Senegalese official is accused of corruption and money-laundering relating to the Russian doping scandal before he stepped down in 2015.
The trial is set to begin in Paris on 8 June, one day after Diack’s 87th birthday, and expected to last 10 days, according to French sports newspaper L’Equipe. The reason for the delay has not been revealed.
The trial was originally due to commence in Paris in January but was postponed to 3 June after new documents were submitted to the court shortly after the hearing began.
The documents included testimony given to the Senegalese judiciary by Diack’s son Papa Massata Diack last November.
The elder Diack, who denies the charges, has been under house arrest in Paris since November 2015 and could face up to 10 years in prison if found guilty.
He was IAAF president for 16 years from 1999, and succeeded by Great Britain’s Sebastian Coe in August 2015.
Following a four-year investigation, both Diack and his son stand accused of accepting bribes from athletes, either directly or indirectly, totalling €3.45 million ($3.84 million) to cover up positive doping tests, enabling athletes to continue competing.
The younger Diack, a former marketing consultant for the IAAF, was banned for life from athletics in 2016 and is charged with corruption, money laundering, concealment and breach of trust.
He is being tried in his absence as he remains in Senegal, which has refused extradition requests.
The others on trial are Diack’s former legal advisor Habib Cissé and Gabriel Dollé, the former director of the IAAF’s anti-doping department, who are both charged with corruption.
Both Valentin Balakhnichev, former head of RUSAF, the Russian athletics federation, who is charged with corruption and money laundering, and Alexi Melnikov, the former Russian coach, who is charged with corruption, will be tried in their absence.
All six defendants deny the charges against them.