PARIS, June 8: A sports corruption trial involving allegations of doping cover-ups and illicit payoffs at the top of track and field opened on Monday in Paris.
In six days of hearings, the Paris court is due to hear evidence that Russian athletes paid millions of dollars to hide their suspected doping so they could compete at the Olympics in 2012 and other competitions.
Lamine Diack, who served as president of the sport�s governing body for nearly 16 years, is one of the alleged recipients of the payments. Diack, 87, was present in court, wearing a white face mask.
The court briefly considered but then rejected a request from a lawyer for Papa Massata Diack, one of Lamine Diack�s sons who is also a defendant in the case, that the trial be delayed because two of his other lawyers weren�t able to attend the trial because of coronavirus travel restrictions.
The trial had already been delayed from January to allow the inclusion of new evidence.
Papa Massata Diack lives in Senegal, shielded from an international arrest warrant issued by France, and did not attend Monday�s hearing.
As IAAF president, Diack was one of the most influential men in Olympic sports, presiding over an era when Usain Bolt made track and field wildly popular. But Diack�s legacy, and the IAAF�s credibility, took a beating after he stepped down in 2015. He was arrested in France. � AP