How Lamine Diack's 16-year reign in charge of IAAF led to a jail term, by Sean Ingle/Guardian


Sean Ingle is one of the finest journalist in sports.

There, I said it.

Sean Ingle writes for the Guardian UK. His writing is clear and crisp. He does his homework. He has a cadre of supporters who understand, that, while they might not agree with Sean Ingle's comments, he does give both sides of the story and lets the audience think for themselves. When someone wants a story to be told with honesty and clarity, Sean Ingle is one on the short list.

Great journalism is a painful, laborious process. One can not assume anything, and surprises come around each and every corner.

3127.jpgLamine Diack, president of the International Association of Athletics Federations from 1999 to 2015, was found guilty of corruption in a Paris court.Photograph: Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty Images

Such is the case on the following piece regarding Lamine Diack and the foul smell he added to the sport of athletics. Sean Ingle, in the article noted below, lets the reader see how the corruption changed the sport.

How should one think of Lamine Diack and his son, Pappa Masatta Diack?

LIke additional characters in a Joseph Conrad novel, the Diacks smelt of old school croneyism, under the cover of a global athletics federation, and introduced a level of corruption that almost sank the sport. They have not been the only ones, but their actions were the most egregious. They were so bad that many did not comprehend the level of corruption.

Perhaps, there was just too much easy money.

I recall working in the Berlin Hilton during the 2009 World Champs, and noting that Pappa Diack sure was busy, meeting perhaps 30 people in 5 hours while I edited copy at the bar, enjoying endless espressoes and tomato juice. I noted that he knew everyone in the sport.

In London in 2012, the whispers on the payoffs began. By 2015, many thought that the time of the Diack's were over, but the investigations had just begun.

In 2012, Pappa Diack attempted to sell the sponsorship of the Kenyan athletic federation to Li Ning, taking a $4 million payment. Just one issue, an American brand had a long term, paid contract with Athletics Kenya, and a cadre of lawyers. Was this the Keystone cops? Nope, this was the greedy son of Lamine Diack, who reluctantly returned the money to a very confused Chinese brand.

The mess is not over, and one wants to know when Pappa Diack will sit in a french prison, content to make athletic equipment. In the prIson system in the 5th republic, many prisoners make athletic equipment while being incarcerated in the République française. How much karma is too much karma?

I can only dream.

How Lamine Diack's 16-year reign in charge of IAAF led to a jail term

Diack's corruption, covering up Russian doping cases for bribes, was discovered after police raided a Paris hotel


Lamine Diack, pictured in 2015, was in charge of the IAAF for 16 years from 1999. Photograph: Jason Lee/Reuters

Thu 17 Sep 2020 06.12 EDT

The unmasking of Lamine Diack as one of the great sinners in the history of sport began with a police raid on All Saints' Day in 2015. At this point Diack, the head of global athletics for 16 years and a distinguished figure at the International Olympic Committee, had yet to be implicated in a growing scandal involving the Russian marathon runner Liliya Shobukhova, who had secretly paid €450,000 to senior figures at the International Association of Athletics Federations to hide a doping violation.

But everything changed on that unseasonably warm November day. When police arrested Diack in his room at the Sheraton hotel at Paris's Charles de Gaulle airport, they also uncovered his computer, which housed a treasure trove of secrets. And nearly five years later it has finally led to Diack - along with five other former senior figures at athletics' governing body - being convicted of corruption.

Link to Sean Ingles' complete piece:

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