Home FOOTBALL SENEGAL – Russian doping and corruption: Papa Massata Diack on his fate...

SENEGAL – Russian doping and corruption: Papa Massata Diack on his fate this Thursday

Papa Massata Diack @Capture photo SenegalActu

Papa Massata Diack, the son of former world athletics boss Lamine Diack, will decide his fate on Thursday: the Paris Court of Appeal, where he was retried for corruption in the Russian doping scandal, is due to announce its decision early this afternoon, AFP reports.

The former marketing consultant of the International Athletics Federation (IAAF) was sentenced in September 2020 to five years in prison and a million euro fine for complicity in a system of bribes.to hide cases of blood doping in Russian athletes in 2011, a year before the London Olympics.

By dragging out sanctions proceedings against these athletes with suspicious biological passports, the IAAF allowed some of them to participate in the Games.

In return, the major Russian sponsors had renewed their partnership contracts with the IAAF, now World Athletics, in preparation for the 2013 World Championships in Moscow.

Dubbed the «LDC», Diack Jr was also found guilty of embezzling EUR 15 million from sponsorship contracts through a set-up of front companies.

Aged 57, Mr. Diack has always affirmed his innocence from Senegal, which he says he cannot leave because he is under judicial supervision in the same case. For his lawyers, the commissions paid were “proportionate” to the size of the contracts, and he was the one who convinced the major institutions to sponsor an underfunded federation at the time.

The lawyer of the international federation, Me Régis Bergonzi, had denounced during the trial on appeal in January a «banana organization» of the IAAF of the time of Lamine Diack, between 1999 and 2015, a president surrounded by faithful and who monetized loyalties.

Among the civil parties, World Athletics claims a total of €41.2 million in damages, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) a symbolic euro and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) €300,000 in compensation.

All finally suspended

At first instance, five other protagonists, including Lamine Diack, were convicted. Diack’s father and the former head of the IAAF anti-doping, the Frenchman Gabriel Dollé, died in 2021 and the lawsuits died out. Two Russian sports officials at the time, Valentin Balakhnitchev and Alexey Melnikov, did not appeal.

In January, only former Presidential Legal Advisor Habib Cissé appeared before the Court of Appeal. Sentenced at first instance to three years in prison, two of which were suspended, a €100,000 fine and a five-year ban on practising as a lawyer, he also denied having been an accomplice in the Russian case.

The former 52-year-old personal adviser to Lamine Diack assured the bar that notifications concerning several athletes to the Russian Federation (ARAF) had been processed on a case-by-case basis, depending on the degree of suspicion of doping, Stressing that all suspected sportsmen had finally been suspended.

Mr Cissé was also found guilty of receiving €3.45 million from Russian athletes in exchange for ‘total protection’, that is, their disappearance from the list of athletes suspected of doping.

Investigators had found in his home a list containing the names of several athletes and money. They had also exhumed a SMS conversation with «PMD» where it was about «refund».

“Appearances are overwhelming,” he admitted, but said he “never asked for money.”

The Public Prosecutor’s Office requested confirmation of the trial judgment for both men.

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The case, which had shaken the world of sport, had been revealed by the agent of the Russian marathon runner Liliya Shobukhova, who had paid 450,000 euros to disappear from the list. Finally suspended in 2014, it had requested a refund and received 300,000 euros from an account in Singapore that allowed it to trace back to «LDC».

With AFP


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