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Ex-IAAF chief Diack tells corruption trial he ‘should have been more vigilant’

Lamine Diack and his son are being tried on corruption, money laundering and breach of trust charges.

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Lamine Diack arrives at the Paris courthouse (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

Lamine Diack arrives at the Paris courthouse (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

Lamine Diack arrives at the Paris courthouse (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

Former IAAF president Lamine Diack has told his corruption trial he should have kept a tighter rein on the athletics governing body that prosecutors allege became a nest of wrongdoing under his watch.

The fourth day of the six-day trial largely focused on allegations that Diack enabled his son, who worked as an IAAF marketing consultant, to cream off millions of dollars from sponsors.

Diack was the IAAF president for nearly 16 years.

The son, Papa Massata Diack, lives in Senegal and is being tried in his absence.

Speak in the microphone, for the love of GodWilliam Bourdon

Both men are being tried on corruption, money laundering and breach of trust charges.

Asked by his own defence whether he should have been more vigilant during his IAAF presidency that ended in 2015, 87-year-old Diack replied: “Undoubtedly.”

The court heard allegations that Papa Massata Diack used his IAAF marketing role and powers given to him by his father to siphon off sponsorship revenues.

One contract alone, with Russian bank VTB, allegedly enabled the son to turn a profit of about 10 million dollars – around a third of the value of the deal.

The IAAF lawyer said the bulk of the revenues from that contract “evaporated”, much of it into the son’s hands, and that only a quarter of the 28 million dollars paid by VTB ended up in the governing body’s coffers.

I am starting to become an old nailLamine Diack

The IAAF is hoping to recoup 41 million euros in lost revenues through the court.

Like last week when he was also questioned at length, Diack’s evidence was often inaudible and sometimes confused.

“Speak in the microphone, for the love of God,” his defence lawyer, William Bourdon, gently admonished his client as he was questioned about a sponsorship deal his son struck with an Indian firm.

Diack said he could not remember the details of some payments.

“I am starting to become an old nail,” he said.

The trial concludes on Thursday, at which point the judge should announce when to expect the verdict.

PA