Diack Believes he is Clear of Any Wrongdoing after Bribery Claims

August 23, 2011

Lamine Diack, possible re-elected President of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has claimed that he has been cleared of any wrongdoing after he was accused of taking bribes in a Panorama programme broadcast by the BBC last November.

Diack, 77, was one of several senior sports administrators that Panorama implicated for taking bribes from former sports marketing agency International Sport and Leisure (ISL) before its collapse in 2001.

The programme, quoting from previously unseen documents, alleged that Diack received 52.680 Swiss francs in instalments from ISL to help secure television and marketing contracts.

Several other high-ranking officials were also implicated in the programme, broadcast on the eve of the vote for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups last November, includinng former FIFA President João Havelange and Issa Hayatou, the President of Confederation of African Football (CAF).

Like Havelange and Hayatou, Diack is also a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and their Ethics Commission launched an investigation into the allegations, including requesting all the information that the BBC had obtained.

Diack, who has been President of the IAAF since the death of Italian Primo Nebiolo in 1999, admits that the Ethics Commission wrote to him in April about the allegations.

“I answered to the Ethics Commission and I had no more reaction from them,” he told insidethegames.

“That put an end to that.”

Diack is standing unopposed at the IAAF Congress here tomorrow after vice-presidents Sebastian Coe and Sergey Bubka both pulled back from challenging him and looked for other positions in the organisation 

It would have been embarrassing for the world governing body if Diack had been re-elected and then been given a sanction by the IOC.

“Nothing will happen [to me] I don’t think,” he said.

“But I’m happy to answer any more questions that they might have.”

Diack was expected to step down after his last election in Osaka in 2007 but has decided to carry on following, what he claims, is pressure from around the world to stay in his post until 2015.

His election will mean he will be in charge of the IAAF coming into London 2012.