Controversial Former Head Of World Athletics’ Governing Body, Lamine Diack, Dies At 88

Last year Diack was convicted of corruption for receiving bribes linked to a Russian doping scandal. Diack was found guilty of corruption and sentenced to four years in prison, two of them suspended. He was found guilty of soliciting $4.1 million from athletes suspected of doping to cover up the allegations and allow them to continue competing, including in the 2012 London Olympics. 

“With the death of Lamine Diack, Senegal loses one of its most illustrious sons,” the west African country’s President Macky Sall said via Twitter. Senegal’s president, Macky Sall, mourned the loss of one of the country’s “most illustrious sons.” “Diack was a man of great dimension,” Mr. Sall wrote. “My heartfelt condolences to the whole Nation.” His death was confirmed by his son, Papa Massata Diack.

His son, Papa Massata Diack, was also sentenced to five years in prison and handed a $1.19 million fine for his role in the corruption.

For decades Diack was one of the most powerful men in sports as a member of the International Olympic Committee and as the head of the International Association of Athletics Federations, the track and field governing body then known by its initials, I.A.A.F., which he headed from 1999 to 2015. Diack held numerous political appointments in Senegal where he was born, including mayor of Dakar from 1978 to 1980. After the death of the I.A.A.F. president Primo Nebiolo in 1999, Mr. Diack took over as acting president. He was subsequently re-elected in 2001 and held the post until 2015. He declined to run again. Despite his conviction last year, Mr. Diack enjoyed widespread support in Senegal.