Son of ex-athletics chief Diack refuses French court's authority

Paris (AFP) –


The son of former global athletics chief Lamine Diack said on Monday that he refused to recognise the authority of a French court probing his alleged involvement in concealing Russian doping in return for payments.

Lamine Diack, the ex-president of the Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), now renamed World Athletics, is accused of accepting bribes to cover up positive doping tests by Russian athletes.

But his son Papa Massata Diack, who worked as a marketing consultant to the IAAF while his father led the organisation, has been tried in absentia and faces charges including corruption and money laundering.

Senegal refuses to extradite Papa Massata Diack.

A Paris court is due to deliver a verdict on Wednesday and both Diacks could face a prison sentence of up to five years if found guilty.

In a press conference in Senegal's capital Dakar on Monday, Papa Massata Diack declared himself "innocent" of all charges and argued that the French court had no jurisdiction.

Papa Massata Diack said he was not a French resident and that his companies are registered in his native Senegal.

"I have refused and I continue to refuse to comply," he told reporters.

Senegalese authorities are conducting their own investigation, however, and he is facing similar charges to the ones filed in France.

On Monday, Papa Massata Diack said the French court had failed to produce convincing evidence against him or his father.

"No tangible and irrefutable evidence can be put to me regarding these accusations," he said.

Papa Massata Diack also accused British authorities of being behind the accusations -- which he termed "the biggest lie in the history of world sport" -- in a bid to secure the IAAF presidency for themselves.

The current head of World Athletics, Sebastian Coe, is British and a double Olympic gold medallist at 1500 metres.

"They have considerable means, the English especially," he said.

Ex-IAAF president Lamine Diack has told the court in Paris that he agreed to delay bans for 23 Russian athletes, but he denied knowing that officials from the body had directly or indirectly asked those athletes for hundreds of thousands of euros to hush up their cases.