INTERPOL Integrity in Sport Bi-Weekly Bulletin - 15 May 2018 - 28 May 2018

Over the past two weeks of May, several ongoing investigations involving players, referees and club officials concluded with sanctions and sentences.

In South America, two Argentinian tennis players were found guilty of breaches of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program for failing to report corrupted approaches and failing to cooperate with a Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) investigation. Additionally, one of them was also found guilty of match-fixing. The sanctions are to be determined at a further date.

In Asia, two Chinese snooker players have been suspended over match-fixing allegations for manipulating the outcome of matches and failing to fully cooperate with a World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) investigation. Moreover, one of the players was also found guilty for betting on snooker and failing to report approaches to fix a match.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) warned Pakistani players against wearing smartwatches during play in order to avoid allegations of match-fixing.

In Europe, a Serbian referee has been arrested and questioned on abuse of power charges for favoring the home team against their rivals. Ukrainian police accused 35 soccer clubs of match-fixing and started carrying out raids. Portuguese police detained a top official of Lisbon football club Sporting and three others linked to the club on suspicion of corruption.

In the Middle East, the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) banned a World Cup-bound referee for life for a match-fixing attempt.

In Africa, the president of Ghana has ordered the immediate arrest of the country’s football association president. A meeting between past and present International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) presidents due to take place last week was cancelled. Former IAAF president remains under house arrest since being charged with corruption and money laundering in November 2017.

INTERPOL and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have held a workshop to strengthen Nigeria’s fight against corruption in sports and competition manipulation.

The workshop brought together 70 representatives from Nigerian law enforcement, government, betting entities and sports organizations, as well as a delegation from Ghana. They addressed current threats to the integrity of sport as well as global crime trends in competition manipulation.

In terms of good practices, the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) and the Global Lottery Monitoring System (GLMS) have signed a memorandum of understanding agreeing to work closely together to combat match-fixing in tennis.

We would also like to invite our readership to explore an article <https://app.nimble.com/api/v1/messages/tracking/click/51189a01e3b7c848c5c626dd/519fd147b8e4a17e77df32f8/5b20d92129e8e9620a07b5ea/> submitted by one of our members on the definition of manipulation of sports competitions.

We welcome submissions on best practices, major developments, new trends and relevant articles for publication in the bulletin. We also welcome hard copies of publications that your Organization is producing in the field of sports corruption at the below address.

The next bi-weekly bulletin will be circulated on Monday, 11 June 2018.

INVESTIGATIONS

Argentina

Independent disciplinary Hearing finds Federico Coria guilty of tennis corruption offences

Federico Coria, the 26-year old Argentinian tennis player, has been found guilty of breaches of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (Program).

Mr Coria failed to report a corrupt approach made to him in July 2015 offering payment to lose a set in a match at the F17 ITF Futures tournament in Sassuolo, Italy.

In August 2015 he was again approached with a financial incentive to lose a number of matches during the course of a year.

Although Mr Coria did not accept any financial incentive or take action to comply with the corrupt approaches, he failed to inform the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU), which constitutes a breach of the Program.

The player was also found to have committed a "technical" breach of failing to co-operate with a TIU investigation. The cell phone supplied to the TIU for examination had been returned to its factory settings, although it was accepted this had not been done for an improper purpose.

The disciplinary Hearing into the case took place in Miami, Florida on 22 March 2018 and was adjudicated by independent Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer (AHO) Jane Mulcahy QC.

Having been found guilty of the charges he will be sanctioned at a future date to be determined by AHO Mulcahy. Details of the AHO’s Decision on sanctions will be made public when received.

Mr Coria is currently ranked 335 in singles and has a career high of 223 achieved in October 2017.

The breaches of the Program for which he has been found guilty are:

Section D.2.a.i: "In the event any Player is approached by any person who offers or provides any type of money, benefit or Consideration to a Player to (i) influence the outcome or any aspect of any Event, or (ii) provide Inside Information, it shall be the Player's obligation to report such incident to the TIU as soon as possible."

Section D.2.c: "For the avoidance of doubt, (i) a failure of the Reporting Obligation by any Covered Person… shall constitute a Corruption Offense for the purposes of the Program."

Section F.2.b: “All Covered Persons must cooperate fully with investigations conducted by the TIU including giving evidence at hearings, if requested. No Covered Person shall tamper with or destroy any evidence or other information related to any Corruption Offense.

The Tennis Integrity Unit is an initiative of the Grand Slam Board, the International Tennis Federation, the ATP and the WTA, who are jointly committed to a zero tolerance approach to corruption in tennis.

Source: 25 May 2018, Tennis Integrity Unit

Tennis

https://www.tennisintegrityunit.com/media-releases/independent-disciplinary-hearing-finds-federico-coria-guilty-tennis-corruption-offences

Argentina

Nicolas Kicker found guilty of match-fixing offences by independent Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer

Argentinian tennis player Nicolas Kicker has been found guilty of match-fixing and other offences under the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (Program).

Mr Kicker, 25, was found guilty of contriving the outcome of a match at the ATP Challenger tournament in Padova, Italy, in June 2015 and a match at the ATP Challenger tournament in Baranquilla, Colombia, in September 2015.

He was also found guilty of failing to report a corrupt approach and of not co-operating with a TIU investigation into the allegations made against him.

Independent Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer (AHO) Jane Mulcahy QC considered the case at a Hearing held in Miami, Florida on 20 March 2018, following an investigation by the Tennis Integrity Unit.

Having been found guilty of all charges, he will be sanctioned at a future date to be determined by AHO Mulcahy. Details of the Decision on sanctions will be made public when received.

Until that time Mr Kicker will not be granted credentials to enter or compete in any professional tennis event sanctioned by the governing bodies of tennis. The authority to withhold credentials lies with the Director of the TIU, who has the discretion to rule on matters that could affect the integrity of the sport.

Mr Kicker is currently ranked 84 in singles and has a career high of 78 achieved in June 2017.

The breaches of the Program for which he has been found guilty are:

Section D.1.d: "No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, contrive or attempt to contrive the outcome or any other aspect of any Event."

Section D.2.c: “For the avoidance of doubt, (i) a failure of the Reporting Obligation by any Covered Person; and/or (ii) a failure of the duty to co-operate under Section F.2 shall constitute a Corruption Offense for all purposes of the Program.

Section F.2.b: “All Covered Persons must co-operate fully with investigations conducted by the TIU including giving evidence at hearings, if requested. No Covered Person shall tamper with or destroy any evidence or other information related to any Corruption Offense.

The Tennis Integrity Unit is an initiative of the Grand Slam Board, the International Tennis Federation, the ATP and the WTA, who are jointly committed to a zero tolerance approach to corruption in tennis.

Source: 24 May 2018, Tennis Integrity Unit

Tennis

https://www.tennisintegrityunit.com/media-releases/nicolas-kicker-found-guilty-match-fixing-offences-independent-anti-corruption-hearing-officer

Ghana

Ghana president orders arrest of football assoc. chief over corruption

President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has ordered the immediate arrest of the country’s football association president, Kwesi Nyantakyi, several local media outlets have reported.

The charge for Nyantakyi’s arrest order is said to be defrauding by false pretenses. The president’s order is for all security agencies to search and arrest the Ghana Football Association (GFA) boss.

Nyantakyi at the time of the order was out of the country. Sources say the GFA President took money from people and promised them that he will “give the President of Ghana some of it” and he also guaranteed them access to the president.

The whole issue is linked to an undercover investigation by one of Ghana’s biggest reporters, Anas Aremeyaw Anas. The documentary titled “Number 12” is due to be released on June 6.

Source: 22 May 2018, GhanaWeb

Football

https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/SportsArchive/Ghana-president-orders-arrest-of-football-assoc-chief-over-corruption-654065

Serbia

Serbian referee arrested after penalty howler, police say

BELGRADE (Reuters) - Serbian referee Srdjan Obradovic has been arrested and questioned on abuse of power charges after awarding a wrongful penalty kick in Sunday’s crucial top division soccer match, the country’s interior ministry (MUP) said on Tuesday.

Obradovic is suspected of abusing his authority in the match between Spartak Subotica and Radnicki Nis to favour the home team against their rivals,” MUP said.

He will be detained for 48 hours and handed over to the prosecutor in charge.

Spartak won the match 2-0 to nose ahead of Radnicki into third place and a Europa League qualifying slot ahead of the last round of matches, courtesy of two penalties with the latter leaving viewers and the visitors perplexed.

A Radnicki defender deflected an innocuous low cross from the right with his feet making no contact with any of the home players, but Obradovic awarded the spot-kick and gesticulated that the would-be offender had handled the ball.

The howler also prompted Serbian FA chief Slavisa Kokeza to ask the soccer authorities to punish Obradovic accordingly and suspend him.

Serbian media invariably vilified Obradovic after the incident and showed video clips of a long list of his poor decisions in previous matches, notably a Belgrade derby between Serbia’s big two Red Star and Partizan in March 2017.

Obradovic allowed play to go on after the ball had clearly gone out of play for Red Star’s opener in a 1-1 draw, sparking bitter protests from Partizan’s officials and supporters.

Red Star won a record 28th Serbian league title earlier this month with games to spare ahead of second-placed Partizan, while Spartak and fourth-placed Radnicki, who are three points behind them, are battling it out for a Europa League berth.

Serbia’s top referee Milorad Mazic and his assistants have been entrusted with officiating the May 26 Champions League final between holders Real Madrid and Liverpool in Kiev.

Source: Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic; Editing by Pritha Sarkar, 15 May 2018, Reuters Football

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-soccer-serbia-referee-arrest/serbian-referee-arrested-after-penalty-howler-police-say-idUKKCN1IG1ZI

Ukraine

Ukraine police accuse 35 soccer clubs of match-fixing; Shakhtar Donetsk and Dynamo Kiev not involved

Ukraine police accused 35 soccer clubs of match fixing and began carrying out raids Tuesday, the BBC reported. Neither Shakhtar Donetsk nor Dynamo Kiev are involved.

Shakhtar Donetsk and Dynamo Kiev, which have combined to win every league title since 1993, were not accused by the police, per the report. However, Vorskla Poltava and Zorya Luhansk, which finished third and fourth in the Ukrainian league, respectively, have been accused of involvement in match-fixing. Both clubs could be removed from the Europa League, per the Associated Press.

Overall, five of the Ukrainian Premier League’s 14 teams have been accused. Most of the match-fixing, however, involves lower-league teams that rarely, if ever, have their games televised, making match-fixing all the more difficult to track. Suspects are believed to have made up to $5 million per year.

In a Facebook post, Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said that the 35 clubs that took part made up to $5 million a year. Avakov added that over 300 people — current and former players, referees, club presidents, arbitrators, trainers, coaches and commercial organizations — helped ensure the results of 57 matches. Police have released phone conversations with players and referees that featured bribes to 100,000 Ukrainian Hryvnia (over $3,800) for fixing matches.

Ukrainian football must be fair play!” Avakov said in his post. He later called the match-fixing “dirty fraud.

Avakov said suspects could face charges of bribery and match-fixing The charges come just days before the UEFA Champions League final.

Real Madrid and Liverpool play for the UEFA Champions League title, Europe’s most prestigious club trophy, on Saturday at the NSC Olympic Stadium in the nation’s capital of Kiev on Saturday.

UEFA was aware of the investigation and continues to support the FFU (Ukraine soccer federation) in its coordination with Ukrainian public authorities in taking this important action in the fight against match-fixing,” the European soccer body said in a statement.

Source: Zach Pereles, 23 May 2018, Yahoo! Sports

Football

https://sports.yahoo.com/ukraine-police-accuse-35-soccer-clubs-match-fixing-shakhtar-donetsk-dynamo-kiev-not-involved-175913505.html?guccounter=1

SENTENCES/SANCTIONS

China

Two Chinese snooker players suspended over match-fixing allegations

LONDON, May 25 (Xinhua) -- Chinese snooker players Yu Delu and Cao Yupeng have been suspended over match-fixing allegations, snooker's world governing body WPBSA announced here on Friday.

Former Welsh professional David John was also banned from all competitions because of alleged manipulating the outcome of matches he was involved in since 2016 and failing to fully cooperate with the WPBSA enquiry.

"Following a lengthy investigation into alleged breaches of the WPBSA Rules by Yu Delu and Cao Yupeng by the WPBSA Integrity Unit working with Sportradar Integrity Services, a decision has been taken today that both players have a case to answer," WPBSA said in a statement.

"In the case of Yu Delu, this relates to manipulating the outcome of five matches he was involved in since 2015, failing to report two approaches to fix a match, betting on snooker and failing to fully cooperate with the WPBSA enquiry.

"In the case of Cao Yupeng, this relates to manipulating the outcome of three matches in 2016 and failing to fully cooperate with the WPBSA enquiry."

The statement said that this suspension will remain in place until the conclusion of the hearing or hearings and the determination of this matter. All three players have the right to appeal the decision.

Jason Ferguson, the Chairman of the WPBSA, said: "The decision to suspend any player immediately is a difficult decision to take. However, the WPBSA has a duty of care to ensure that snooker's global integrity is securely preserved, therefore my decision today is to remove any question marks over the sport during the time it takes to bring these matters to formal proceedings."

The matter will be referred to the WPBSA Disciplinary Committee where a formal hearing will take place at a venue and date to be confirmed, the statement said.

Snooker had long been plagued with match-fixing scandals. Stephen Lee, the former world number five, was banned for 12 years in 2013 after being found guilty of seven charges of match-fixing.

Five-time world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan believed Lee was just the tip of the iceberg in 2013.

"I've heard there's many more players who throw snooker matches ... I suppose Stephen Lee was just caught out," he said on Twitter soon after Lee was suspended.

O'Sullivan went on to claim in 2015 that he was offered money to throw a snooker match.

But he added that although other players did accept bribes in the past he believed the problem had been eradicated after Stephen Lee was banned.

"So I think it's been stamped out of snooker now and if anyone was to do it, they know what the consequences are."

But also in 2015, Irish amateur John Sutton was banned for six years two years later after WPBSA found him guilty of match-fixing and misusing inside information.

The WPBSA said Sutton's offences related to suspicious betting on his match against Scotland's Jamie Burnett in the qualifying stages of the International Championship.

Source: 26 May 2018, Xinhuanet

Snooker

https://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-05/26/c_137207043.htm

Saudi Arabia

Saudi World Cup ref gets life ban for match-fixing attempt

(Reuters) - Saudi Arabia has banned referee Fahad Al Mirdasi from football for life for a match-fixing attempt, weeks before he was due to fly to Russia to officiate at the World Cup, the country’s football federation (SAFF) said in a statement late on Tuesday.

Al Mirdasi had confessed to offering to fix Saturday’s King’s Cup final on behalf of the Al Ittihad club, the SAFF said. It added that it had requested FIFA hand him a lifetime global ban as well as removing him from the World Cup list.

The 32-year-old referee made the approach to Al Ittihad chief Hamad Al-Senaie, who immediately handed over the WhatsApp messages to SAFF officials who in turn alerted the relevant government authorities, SAFF said.

Al Mirdasi was taken into police custody where he confessed to soliciting the corrupt payment, the statement from the SAFF Ethics Committee added.

Al Ittihad played Al Faisaly in the King’s Cup final at Jeddah’s King Abdullah Sports City on Saturday, winning in extra-time in a game refereed by former Premier League official Mark Clattenburg.

Clattenburg, who was appointed Head of Refereeing at the SAFF last year, stepped in to replace Al Mirdasi on the eve of the game.

Al Mirdasi has been on the FIFA referees’ list since 2011 and officiated at last year’s Confederations Cup in Russia.

Source: Editing by Peter Rutherford, 16 May 2018, Reuters

Football

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-soccer-worldcup-referee-ban/saudi-world-cup-ref-gets-life-ban-for-match-fixing-attempt-idUKKCN1IH0EF

GOOD PRACTICES

Global Lottery Monitoring System (GLMS); Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU)

GLMS and the TIU join their forces to keep tennis free of manipulations

The Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) and the Global Lottery Monitoring System (GLMS) have signed an MoU agreeing to work closely together to combat match-fixing in tennis, through the secure sharing of information on irregular betting patterns as well as the cooperation on education and prevention initiatives.

GLMS President, Ludovico Calvi states: “ In recent years, we have witnessed an increase in match fixing in Tennis and as was noted by the Independent Review Panel’s Interim report, lower category tournaments are particularly vulnerable to manipulations. We are therefore delighted to join our forces with the TIU in order to protect the integrity of Tennis globally and effectively. Thanks to the GLMS growing network which guarantees local competent presence and global reach, I am convinced that we can play a strategic role in TIU’s pursue to fight Tennis results manipulation at all levels.”.

Matthew Perry, the TIU’s Education & Training Manager, adds: “The TIU works closely and co-operatively with the betting industry on a global basis. Relationships with licensees, regulators and operators are essential in tackling corruption effectively wherever it occurs. Today we are pleased to further strengthen cooperation with the GLMS which brings together 29 Lotteries all over the globe in its goal to safeguard the integrity of sports. We are confident that GLMS’ experience, expertise and global reach will be of real value in our intelligence work. We also look forward to working with GLMS and its members on important education and capacity building projects”.

GLMS and the TIU have been already enjoying an unofficial sharing of information for some years now. Under this agreement, the two organisations will be also using their best efforts to developing joint initiatives when it comes to education and prevention activities, as both entities consider them as key in the overall effort to tackle the phenomenon.

Source: 15 May 2018, GLMS

Tennis

https://glms-sport.org/news/glms-and-the-tiu-join-their-forces-to-keep-tennis-free-of-manipulations/

Pakistan

Pakistan told to stop wearing smartwatches by ICC anti-corruption team

Pakistan's players have been told to stop wearing smartwatches during play to avoid any allegations of match-fixing, bowler Hasan Ali has said.

The International Cricket Council's anti-corruption team met the tourists after the opening day of the first Test against England at Lord's and warned the players against wearing the watches, which are capable of transmitting text or voice messages and functioning like a phone.

Babar Azam and Asad Shafiq were spotted wearing the watches during play although there was no suggestion of any wrongdoing as it was not clear if the devices were connected to phones.

"I didn't know who was wearing them but yes, the ICC anti-corruption officer came to speak to us and they told us this is not allowed," Hasan said after Pakistan dominated play, bowling England out for 184 before reaching 50 for one at the close.

"Next time, nobody will wear them."

The ICC does not allow players to carry communication devices to the field and this ban extends to the dressing room as well.

Officials are allowed specific devices to communicate with their colleagues while they perform their duty.

Match-fixing has become a major concern for the ICC in recent years.

Pakistan's trio of Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir, who is in the current side, were part of a gambling-inspired plot to bowl no-balls at pre-arranged times during a Test match against England at Lord's in August 2010.

All three players served time in prison and were handed multi-year bans from the game after a tribunal found them guilty of spot-fixing.

Source: Richard Cooke, 25 May 2018, Sky Sports

Cricket

https://www.skysports.com/cricket/news/12343/11384660/pakistan-told-to-stop-wearing-smartwatches-by-icc-anti-corruption-team

ODDS AND ENDS

RC3 & Partners Consulting

Exploring the definition of the manipulations of sports competitions

We would like to share with our readership an article submitted by one of our members on the definition of manipulation of sports competitions.

Sport manipulation is a topic which usually triggers extremely interesting debates and considerable confusion. The article provides an insight into the basics of the fight against sports manipulations; the author explains the reasons for and the actors involved in manipulations of sports competitions as well as the differences and coherence between match-fixing and sport manipulation.

Source: Norbert Rubicsek J.D., 22 May 2018, RC3 Sport

https://rc3sport.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Article_Exploring-the-definition-of-the-manipulations-of-sports-competitions_Norbert-Rubicsek_JD-1.pdf

INTEGRITY IN SPORT EVENTS

Nigeria

INTERPOL and IOC team up with Nigeria to promote sports integrity

ABUJA, Nigeria – INTERPOL and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have held a workshop to strengthen Nigeria’s fight against corruption in sports and competition manipulation.

The workshop brought together 70 representatives from Nigerian law enforcement, government, betting entities and sports organizations, as well as a delegation from Ghana. They addressed current threats to the integrity of sport as well as global crime trends in competition manipulation.

The two day event (23 and 24 May) was hosted in close cooperation with the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigerian Olympic Committee, and was supported by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Opening the workshop, Olushola Subair, Head of the INTERPOL National Central Bureau in Nigeria and member of INTERPOL’s Executive Committee, stressed that the complex issue of competition manipulation was "rearing its head" and needed to be curtailed urgently. He also expressed a need for enhanced monitoring of sporting activities.

Cheikh Touré, representing the Officer in Charge of the UNODC’s Country Office in Nigeria, pointed to the importance of enhancing the capabilities of criminal justice officials and sports officials. “It is crucial for government agencies and sports organizations to introduce preventive measures and to identify and apprehend those behind this increasingly prevalent problem,” he said.

Habu Gumel, President of the National Olympic Committee of Nigeria, said: “The boom in sports business has brought an increasing frequency of scandals in bribery, corruption, match fixing, doping and all forms of competition manipulation that have rocked sports globally.

The true test of integrity lies in its blunt refusal to be compromised. The burden rests on policy makers to create policies that address these challenges and put in place appropriate structures for implementation here in Nigeria,” concluded Mr Gumel.

Following the national workshop, partnership development meetings took place between high-level representatives from law enforcement, sporting bodies, justice, and the betting industry to develop a coordinated national approach against crimes in sport.

The event was held under the aegis of a cooperation agreement between INTERPOL and the IOC, which was formalized in a Memorandum of Understanding in January 2014.

Source: 25 May 2018, INTERPOL

https://www.interpol.int/en/News-and-media/News/2018/N2018-050

CORRUPTION

Portugal

Sporting director nabbed in graft probe, day after violence

LISBON (Reuters) - Portuguese police detained a top official of Lisbon football club Sporting and three others linked to the club on suspicion of corruption, adding to Sporting’s troubles a day after a group of fans attacked its players and coaches at their training ground.

Police said in a statement the arrests were made over alleged “active corruption in sports” in an operation code-named Cashball, and officers also searched the premises of one football club and various homes.

It did not identify the club. But local television channels showed police working at Sporting’s Alvalade stadium, and sports media said that police suspected some Sporting officials of game-fixing mostly in handball matches but also in some football events, by allegedly bribing referees and players.

One of those detained was Andre Geraldes, the team manager for Sporting and right-hand man of Sporting President Bruno de Carvalho. He has previously dismissed allegations that Sporting may have bribed referees and players. A handball referee was also questioned by police in Porto.

On Tuesday, Sporting condemned “acts of vandalism and aggression” after forward Bas Dost was injured when a group of hooded supporters, armed with sticks and belts, attacked players and staff at the club’s training complex.

The club had a tumultuous season, including a spat between de Carvalho and the players over their performance in a Europa League match that culminated in his threat to suspend nearly the entire first-team squad last month.

Police have arrested 21 people after Tuesday’s attack.

Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said the escalation of violence and corruption around sports risked destroying football in the country.

Faced with the gravity of what happened we have to understand that this climate that has been created over some time... cannot and should not continue, because this escalation will destroy Portuguese football, marring it on the international arena and here inside. It’s time to stop the escalation.

In January, prosecutors named the head of football club Benfica, Luis Filipe Vieira, and Vice President Fernando Tavares as suspects in an investigation into a corruption scheme, although Benfica said the probe had nothing to do with the club itself. Benfica is Portugal’s most popular club by membership.

Source: Reporting by Andrei Khalip; Editing by Axel Bugge and Hugh Lawson, 16 May 2018, Reuters Football

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-portugal-sporting-investigation/sporting-director-nabbed-in-graft-probe-day-after-violence-idUSKCN1IH1QE

Senegal

Diack cancels Paris meeting with Coe citing medical reasons

A meeting between past and present International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Presidents Lamine Diack and Sebastian Coe, due to take place in Paris on Friday (May 25), has been cancelled.

Diack, who led the world governing body from 1999 until Coe took over in 2015, remains under house arrest in the French capital since being charged with corruption and money laundering in November that year. The meeting had been requested by the 84-year-old Senegalese and was due to take place in the presence of Judge Renaud Van Ruymbeke on Friday morning.

"The IAAF has been informed that the meeting requested by the former President of the IAAF with the current President has been cancelled," an IAAF spokesperson told insidethegames today.

"The meeting was due to take place in Paris on Friday, May 25, 2018.

"The IAAF understands the meeting has been cancelled by the former President for medical reasons and we are currently awaiting written confirmation."

It was made clear that the meeting was cancelled rather than postponed and that a whole requesting process must now take place if Diack wishes to arrange another one. Coe was one of Diack's vice-presidents at the IAAF between 2011 and 2014.

Diack, who denies wrongdoing, is suspected of having accepted bribes during his IAAF Presidency to cover up doping by Russian athletes.

His son Papa Massata Diack is also being investigated by French authorities for the same offences, as well as claims he accepted a bribe to help Rio de Janeiro win the right to host the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. He is also linked to an alleged scheme to help Tokyo win its bid to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Papa Diack has been on Interpol's most wanted list since December 2015 but is sheltering in Dakar as the Senegalese Government refuses to extradite him to France.

The allegations concerning Rio 2016 are especially topical after Brazilian informer Carlos Emanuel Miranda, a former partner of ex-Brazilian Sports Minister Sérgio Cabral, and involved in the alleged scheme, testified this week that payments were made to "African leaders connected to the athletics sector".

This was said to have happened shortly before the city was awarded the Games at the 2009 International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session in Copenhagen.

It is alleged that at least $2 million (£1.5 million/€1.7 million) was distributed to Diack from Brazilian businessman Arthur Cesar de Menezes Soares and that this helped secure the support of four IOC members who participated in the vote.

Diack was an active and influential IOC member until 2012.

Source: Nick Butler, 23 May 2018, Inside The Games

Athletics

https://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/1065407/diack-cancels-paris-meeting-with-coe-citing-medical-reasons

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