PARIS (Reuters) - The former head of world athletics is suspected of having received over 1 million euros ($1.09 million) in bribes in 2011 to cover up positive doping tests of Russian athletes, the office of France’s financial prosecutor said.
Lamine Diack was placed under formal investigation in France on Wednesday on suspicion of corruption and money laundering.
“The investigations will have to determine the origins of these sums,” a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office told Reuters on Thursday. “It’s difficult to determine whether the entirety of it comes from the Russian athletics federation, but at least a part of it has gone through this federation.”
Asked if he could confirm a media report saying that Diack was suspected of having received over a million euros in bribes in 2011 to cover up Russian athletes’ positive doping tests, the spokesman said: “Yes.”
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) that Diack, from Senegal and his early 80s, once headed said it was cooperating with the French investigation.
Reuters has not been able to reach Diack’s lawyer for comment. He has been released on bail of 500,000 euros ($543,000) and banned from leaving the country, the prosecutor’s office said.
Reporting by Chine Labbe; Writing by Michel Rose; Editing by Mark Heinrich