Lamine Diack arrives at court in Paris
Lamine Diack arrives at court in Paris Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: French prosecutors have requested jail terms for disgraced former International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) President Lamine Diack and his son Papa Massata Diack.

Prosecutors have sought a four-year prison term and a fine of €500,000 (Dh2.065 million) for Lamine and five years behind bars and a similar €500,000 fine for his son, who is being tried in absentia.

Lamine Diack, former head of IAAF, leaves the courthouse in Paris
Lamine Diack, former head of IAAF, leaves the courthouse in Paris Image Credit: AFP

Diack is on trial in Paris for corruption, influence-trafficking and laundering money, while his son Papa Massata handled valuable marketing rights for the IAAF, while allegedly making millions of euros in exorbitant and illegal commissions. Massata has refused to be extradited from Senegal.

During the course of the trial that is expected to go on until late on Thursday had Diack admitting that he “unquestionably” should have been more vigilant during his time at the helm of the IAAF.

The Senegalese official was also unable to explain why his son and co-defendant along associated companies transferred €600,000 into his bank account between 2011 and 2015.

The 87-year-old Diack was IAAF President from 1999 until 2015 and an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member between 1999 and 2013. However, he stood down as an honorary member in 2015 following his arrest.

Diack has been under house arrest since November 2015, suggesting the chances of him serving time inside a prison are low.

While all fingers have pointed to Lamine, it is his son who is alleged to have siphoned off €10 million in one instance alone, when Russian bank VTB made a payment of €29 million to sponsor the IAAF — now rebranded as World Athletics — from 2007 to 2011. However, the international body only received €19 million.

Given that the prosecution has been unable to extradite Massata to France, the chances of him spending any time in a French prison appear slim.

Ex-adviser Habib Cisse and Gabriel Dolle — the former anti-doping chief at the IAAF — are also standing trial, and so too former Russian Athletics Federation President Valentin Balakhnichev and Alexei Melnikov, the former head distance coach of the Russian national team.

It is alleged that Diack diverted Russian funds to political campaigns in his native Senegal, including Macky Sall’s Presidential bid in 2012, in exchange for the IAAF anti-doping arm burying offences by Russian athletes. Sall won the 2012 election and still remains the President of Senegal.