29th September 2020
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) welcomes the decision by the Correctional Tribunal in Paris, France, to convict six people, including the former President of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF, today World Athletics), Lamine Diack, on charges of corruption linked to the Russian doping scandal.
Based in part on information provided by WADA, Mr. Diack was found to have accepted bribes in order to cover up doping cases of Russian athletes so they would be free to compete at major athletics events, including the Olympic Games and IAAF World Championships. The other defendants were found guilty of a range of related offences. As part of this ruling, WADA, which was an interested party to this case, has been awarded more than EUR 300,000 in costs and damages.
WADA President Witold Bańka said: “This is a victory for athletes and for clean sport. It shows that no one is above the law. It is particularly encouraging when sports-related corruption is being taken seriously by criminal justice systems around the world, and the French authorities are to be congratulated for their diligence and commitment.”
WADA Director General Olivier Niggli said: “This case, like so many, started with a whistleblower, who brought important information to WADA’s attention. In 2015, WADA shared this intelligence along with other elements of its then ongoing Pound investigation with French prosecutors and, on that basis, a criminal investigation was opened. This case shows the importance of WADA’s work with law enforcement agencies around the world as we seek to ensure that those who engage in corruption or try to cheat the system face the appropriate sanctions. It is particularly pleasing for us that all the factual elements we provided to the French investigators were confirmed by the court’s decision.”