Olympic powerbroker. Fixer. Corruptor. Convicted super criminal. Lamine Diack packed a lot into his extraordinary 88 years, which came to a quiet end on Friday. Yet we are perhaps still nowhere close to knowing all of his felonies – and the friends he helped along the way.
True, what we know is staggering enough. Last year Diack received a four-year sentence from the French courts for masterminding a scheme in which the IAAF, now World Athletics, agreed to cover up secretly 23 cases of Russian doping in exchange for £2.7m in bribes. And while another French investigation into Olympic vote-rigging continues, Diack has already been named by a senior figure in the Rio 2016 team as receiving £1.77m for securing African votes. Yet when I spoke to his son, Papa Massata Diack, last year, he hinted that this might be scratching the surface.
“The day Lamine Diack opens his mouth the IOC and Fifa will fall apart,” Papa Massata told me. “Because Lamine Diack knows a lot of secrets, on how the deals were cut to get a lot of the Olympic Games. He knows everything. He’s been the power broker. He was a force in the IOC for a long time.”
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