One thing is for certain: Regardless of what happens with the Lamine Diack scandal, there is no question that the sport of athletics will endure. While the sport is as prone to corruption as any other, it is important to remember that no one individual defines an entire sport. In the same way that baseball continues to be enormously popular, even in the face of steroids scandals rocking specific players, one can expect athletics and the International Association of Athletics Federations to continue, regardless of whether or not former IAAF President Lamine Diack is indeed guilty of corruption.
And when it comes to answering that question, a little background on the case is going to prove to be absolutely essential.
A Look At Lamine Diack
Lamine Diack served as the President of the IAAF from 1999 to 2015. Had the champion long jumper managed to avoid scandal, it is not difficult to imagine that he would be serving in that capacity in the present. Unfortunately, the man who once held the French/West African long jumper record from 1957 to 1960 has been connected to a number of scandals. The most damming accusation would have to involve the notion that Diack repeatedly used his position of power within the IAAF and International Olympic Committee (IOC) for illegal gains.
Beyond his connection to the doping of Russian athletes, Diack has been accused of using his power to create an informal, powerful, and wholly illegal governing body within the actual IAAF. Critics point to the fact that during his many years as IAAF President, Diack installed one of his sons as an IAAF employee, positioned another son in the capacity of consultant, and allowed one of his friends to become a legal advisor to the position of President. A report from the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Independent Commission investigation makes it abundantly clear that Diack used his power to establish and nurture an extraordinary degree of corruption within the IAAF. Diack has been accused of engaging fraudulent, extortive practices through the informal shadow organization he created during his four tenures as IAAF President.
It is difficult to argue with the intense specifics of the report. The accusations proved potent enough to lead to Diack and several other key IAAF figures being arrested in November of 2015. According to Santa Cruz DUI Lawyer, probable cause is the standard that must be shown for an arrest to occur, and this is no low barrier, according to Redding Personal Injury Lawyers. Although Diack was released shortly after his arrest, it was just commonsense that his time with the IAAF would come to an end. The IOC gave him a provisional suspension shortly after his arrest and release. Almost immediately after that, Diack resigned from his position.
What’s Next For Lamine Diack?
At this point, it is pretty clear that Diack is no stranger to controversy. The arrest stemmed from accusations that Diack had accepted payments from the Russian Athletics Federation, in exchange for deferring sanctions against Russian athletes accused of doping. The accusations originally came from the ARD/WDR. They quickly gained enough traction to launch a full investigation, which continues to this day.
This is not the only incident Lamine Diack has been connected to. He has also had to deal with claims that he received numerous bribes from the bankrupted sports marketing company known as International Sport and Leisure. It is believed Diack accepted these bribes in the early 1990s, in exchange for giving the International Sports and Leisure special considerations in their desire to obtain a marketing contract with the IAAF. Diack in turn shot back at the claims, explaining that he had received the money from supporters, who wished to help him in the aftermath of his house burning down.
What’s next for Lamine Diack? We shall have to wait and see. For now, he remains a figure of considerable controversy.