Papa Diack denies corruption claims

Tue Dec 22, 2015 12:38pm EST
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By Mitch Phillips

LONDON (Reuters) - Papa Massata Diack, the son of former IAAF president Lamine Diack and a former marketing executive for athletics' governing body, has denied any involvement in bribery or corruption and says his father is also innocent.

Papa Diack has been questioned by French prosecutors over claims he was involved in a scheme for blackmailing athletes who failed drugs tests in order to allow them to continue to compete. France's national financial prosecutor Eliane Houlette said last month that he played a "very active role" in the corruption.

Russian former London Marathon winner Liliya Shobukhova said she paid more than 400,000 pounds to Russian athletics officials to have a positive test covered up.

Papa Diack and three other officials have been charged by the IAAF with ethics violations, with a verdict due in January, but he told the BBC on Tuesday: "There was no extortion of funds from any athlete.

"I've never met any athlete, any agent, any person in the world...asking to have a payment.

"I deal with corporate sponsors, I deal with governments, I deal with municipal government, I deal with Olympic committees, I never dealt with any athlete or any agent, so I reject those allegations."

Lamine Diack, who was replaced as IAAF president by Sebastian Coe in August, is under investigation by French police on charges of corruption and money laundering. French prosecutors said on Tuesday his previous charge of "passive corruption" had now been upgraded to the more serious "corruption".

His son said the 82-year-old was also innocent.   Continued...