Former IAAF president Lamine Diack confessed to French police that he requested approximately $1.6 million from the Russian track and field federation to help finance the political opposition in his native Senegal, according to a report in Le Monde.
The request was made as Russia faced several cases of athletes testing positive for performance enhancing drugs. The money could be considered a bribe used to cover up the doping.
The payment was asked of former Russian track and field federation president Valentin Balakhnichev in 2011. He denied having discussed any deal with Diack.
Diack, 82, was arrested last month and ordered not to leave the country by French investigators following his release on bail. He ended his tenure as IAAF president in August after 16 years.
Diack’s legal adviser, Habib Cisse, also faces a corruption charge, and Gabriel Dolle, the former director of the IAAF’s anti-doping department, was taken into custody as part of the investigation.
The IAAF is also being investigated by the World Anti-Doping Agency for its handling of knowledge regarding systemic doping and alleged corruption in Russia.
After the findings of an initial WADA report, Russia was suspended from international competition by the IAAF, which may include the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The second part of the report focusing on Diack and the IAAF is expected to be released next month.
- Christopher Chavez