Former track federation president, Lamine Diack, has been sentenced to two years in prison for corruption during his nearly 16-year tenure at the IAAF, most notably a scheme that allowed Russian athletes who paid millions in hush money to keep competing when they should have been suspended for doping.The guilty verdict in a Paris court represented a spectacular fall from grace for the 87-year-old Diack, who was the powerful head of the IAAF from 1999-2015 and mixed with world leaders and was influential in the world of Olympic sports. The court also sentenced Diack to another two years of suspended jail time and fined him €500,000 ($590,000).His lawyers said they will appeal, keeping Diack out of jail for now.Diack did not comment as he walked out of court.One of Diack’s lawyers, Simon Ndiaye, called the verdict “unjust and inhuman” and said the court made his client a “scapegoat.”Diack was found guilty of multiple corruption charges and of breach of trust, but acquitted of a money laundering charge. Among those in court, and thrilled by the verdict, was French marathon runner, Christelle Daunay.She competed against one of the Russian athletes, runner Liliya Shobukhova, who later testified to investigators about illicit payments to hush up doping.Beaten by Shobukhova at the 2011 Chicago Marathon, Daunay was a civil party to the case.Speaking after the court awarded her damages totaling €45,000 ($53,000), Daunay described the verdict as a victory for all athletes who were robbed of prizes and results by having to race against competitors who should have sanctioned, but instead paid to benefit from the doping cover-up.“Behind my mask, you can’t see it, but I’m smiling,” she said. “I’m pleased, too, for all the athletes. We have to keep up the fight against doping.” At the trial in June, prosecutors requested a four-year jail term and a fine of €500,000 ($590,000) for Diack, who oversaw an era when Usain Bolt made track and field wildly popular, but whose legacy was trashed after his arrest in France in 2015, and the subsequent revelations of widespread malfeasance.Diack, wearing a white robe, sat impassive in front of the chief judge as she read out the guilty verdict and sentence.The judge, Rose-Marie Hunault, detailed his role in the payoff scheme, dubbed: “Full protection,” that squeezed Russian athletes suspected of doping of about 3.2 million euros ($3.74 million) in hush money.“The money was paid in exchange for a program of ‘full protection,’” she said, adding the scheme allowed athletes who should have been suspended “purely and simply to escape sanctions.”RelatedPosts Ex-IAAF boss, Diack faces four-year jail term Ex-IAAF boss Diack admits to delaying doping cases Ex-IAAF boss Diack’s trial to start June 8 “You violated the rules of the game,” the judge said.Tags: IAAFLamine Diack
NOTTINGHAM, England (CMC) – Fuelled by a desire to prove their many detractors wrong, a confident West Indies will launch an ambitious bid to win the ICC World Cup when they take on enigmatic Pakistan at Trent Bridge here today.Winners of the first two World Cups back in 1975 and 1979 West Indies’ star has since fallen and are no longer considered one-day powerhouses. And with just a single series win in the last five years, their tag of underdogs is perhaps justified.Yet, their performance against world number ones and tournament favourites, England, in the Caribbean this year pointed to somewhat of a rejuvenation, giving players and fans alike the faintest of hope that the side could put together a formidable World Cup challenge.Written off before the start of the England series, the Caribbean side managed to pull off a 2-2 draw, doing so while brandishing a bold, audacious brand of cricket not seen in recent years. The result also instilled a new level of self-belief in the squad and there is now a quiet confidence the Caribbean side can now put the lean years of under-achievement behind them.Captain Jason Holder, leading West Indies for the second straight World Cup, said the squad was settled and in a good place mentally heading into the opening clash against Pakistan.“One thing I like coming into this tournament is that every player is in a good frame of mind,” he told media here yesterday.“Everybody is playing with a smile on his face, and I think that’s how we play our best cricket. We’re fearless, we enjoy what we’re doing and we enjoy one another’s company. I can safely say within the group we’ve got that.“We’ve got an atmosphere that we would like to create, and we’ve got the energy going into this tournament that we would want to have.”He added: “I think the rest is left to us on the field. We’ve just got to execute whatever plans we formulate, and I think execution is key in this tournament, you know, whether it’s West Indies, England, India or whoever.“I think the teams that execute their plans and are as disciplined as they can be more often than not they’re going to come out on top.”West Indies will have to buck recent history against Pakistan, which has seen them lose 11 of their last 16 ODIs in bilateral series. The Caribbean side have had better luck against Pakistan in World Cup match-ups, however, winning six of their eight meetings – including in the 2015 edition when they crushed their Asian opponents by 150 runs.For their part, Pakistan enter the contest on the back of a poor run of form that has seen them lose 13 of their last 18 ODIs. Earlier this month, they were creamed 4-0 in a five-match series by hosts England.But Pakistan are mercurial, lurching from mediocre to brilliant in the blink of an eye and Holder said his team would be taking nothing for granted against them.“We’ve obviously looked at their players, tried to formulate our plans towards them and obviously our mode of attack,” he explained.“We’ve had a few discussions as the team and a few team meetings just to formulate whatever plans we’re going into tomorrow’s game with. But yeah, it’s just a normal thing. It’s nothing different depending on who the team is.“We just want to be as professional as we possibly can, not take anything for granted. I don’t think we’re in a position to take anything for granted; to just be in a situation where we just assess who we’re playing against, formulate our plans or look to execute them.”West Indies’ batting is to be feared. Headed by veteran talisman Chris Gayle, it boasts the likes of the classy Shai Hope and Darren Bravo, as well as the brawn of Evin Lewis, Shimron Hetmyer and the spectacular Andre Russell.Against England earlier this year, they twice scored in excess of 350 – including an all-time record 389 in the fourth ODI in Grenada. Their mammoth 421 against New Zealand in their last official warm-up in Bristol last Tuesday served as a timely reminder of the Caribbean side’s ability and at Trent Bridge where there have been several large totals this season, expectations are already high.However, Holder reminded that cricket was played on the day and depended heavily on conditions, and there was no guarantee of consistently high totals.“I don’t want to sit here and try to predetermine what’s going to happen, but I just think in this situation we play a normal cricket game,” he stressed.“We assess the conditions as early as possible and we play to suit. I think where the game has gone now, especially in England here, there have been some high totals, but there have been totals where I saw one or two games lately that were relatively low-scoring. It can happen.“That’s the way cricket is played, and that’s the nature of the game. I just don’t want to sit before a game and say we’re looking to score 500 or 600, I just want to play it as we see it and assess the conditions like any other game.”SQUADS:WEST INDIES – Jason Holder (captain), Fabian Allen, Carlos Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Shannon Gabriel, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Evin Lewis, Ashley Nurse, Nicholas Pooran, Kemar Roach, Andre Russell, Oshane Thomas.PAKISTAN – Sarfaraz Ahmed (captain), Asif Ali, Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Wahab Riaz.