In Summary
  • The French investigation into Diack began in 2015 when Britain's Sebastian Coe took over from the 86-year-old Senegalese as IAAF president.
  • French prosecutors took up the case because they suspect money was laundered in France.

PARIS

Lamine Diack, the disgraced former head of world athletics' ruling body the IAAF, and his son Papa Massata Diack are to stand trial in France on charges of corruption and money laundering, sources told AFP.

Diack was IAAF president between 1999-2015 but his reign ended in chaos amid charges he and his son obstructed sanctions against Russia for doping in return for payments.

"The freeze in sanctions in exchange for financial kickbacks was negotiated by Lamine Diack with Valentin Balakhnichev, who was both president of the Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF) and IAAF Treasurer," three French judges led by Renaud Van Ruymbeke said in their order to trial, dated June 19, a copy of which was seen by AFP.

Papa Massata Diack, a former marketing consultant to the IAAF, has -- unlike his father -- refused to cooperate with the investigation and has never been questioned by French officials.

He is one of five others who will face trial on the same charges along with Balakhnichev, Russia's former national middle distance coach Alexei Melnikov, Lamine Diack's former advisor Habib Cisse, and the IAAF's former anti-doping chief Gabriel Dolle.

The French investigation into Diack began in 2015 when Britain's Sebastian Coe took over from the 86-year-old Senegalese as IAAF president.

French prosecutors took up the case because they suspect money was laundered in France.

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