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Former athletics chief Diack disappointed after judges postpone trial

Credit: Reuters - Sports
Published on January 13, 2020 - Duration: 00:43s

Former athletics chief Diack disappointed after judges postpone trial

Former IAAF chief Lamine Diack says he is disappointed after judges postponed the start of his corruption trial.

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Former athletics chief Diack disappointed after judges postpone trial

SHOWS: PARIS, FRANCE (JANUARY 13, 2020) (REUTERS-ACCESS ALL) 1.

(SOUNDBITE) (French) FORMER HEAD OF ATHLETICS' GOVERNING BODY IAAF, LAMINE DIACK, SAYING: "Of course I find regrettable the postponement.

I thought we were moving fast and that I was getting closer to going back to Dakar.

Now we need to wait." 2.

WHITE FLASH 3.

(SOUNDBITE) (French) LAWYER FOR DIACK, SIMON NDIAYE, SAYING: "Lamine Diack whom I defend with (other lawyer) William Bourdon is an elderly man who has always cooperated with the justice and has always delivered the explanations required from him.

He had come here for the trial to start and to bring the proof that he's innocent.

So we regret the fact that once again the justice seems rather slow and talks about irregularities which do not come from the defence nor the plaintiffs but from the instructing judge or maybe the court." STORY: Lamine Diack, the disgraced former head of athletics' governing body IAAF, arrived at a Paris court to face trial on Monday (January 13) on charges of corruption and money laundering linked to a Russian doping scandal.

Shortly after it was opened the trial was postponed by the head judge until June at the earliest, for procedural reasons.

The trial of Diack, 86, who is under house arrest in Paris, comes five years after prosecutors began their investigation.

They have described a web of corruption that was rife in world athletics, including bribes and extortion to cover up positive drug tests.

Diack has denied wrongdoing.

His lawyers described him as a "man of values and principles" and said the accusations were baseless.

The former head of the IAAF, who is Senegalese, led the organisation from 1999-2015 and was one of the most influential men in athletics.

His arrest plunged the sport's governing body into an unprecedented crisis.

Diack's co-accused include his son, Papa Massata, who worked as a marketing consultant for the IAAF.

Senegal has refused to extradite Papa Massata and he will be tried in absentia.

Prosecutors began their investigation in 2015, after the IAAF's ethics commission and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) uncovered evidence that a Russian marathon runner paid 600,000 euros ($683,000) to cover up a positive drug test, allowing her to compete in the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The prosecutors highlighted what they described as the "extremely complacent" attitude of the IAAF toward the Russian athletics federation.

Diack acknowledges discussions with the Russians, but denies sanctions were waived in return for personal benefit, his lawyer said.

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