Athletics: Coe says 'every country' must cooperate with probe, as Senegal refuses extradition

A photo from Interpol shows Papa Massata Diack, son of former IAAF head Lamine Diack.
A photo from Interpol shows Papa Massata Diack, son of former IAAF head Lamine Diack.PHOTO: EPA

DOHA (AFP) - Sebastian Coe on Friday urged "every country" to cooperate with a French police investigation into alleged athletics corruption.

The embattled president of the IAAF was speaking in Doha after learning that Senegal had earlier in the day apparently ruled out extraditing Papa Massata Diack - who is accused of blackmailing athletes who failed drug tests - to France.

Speaking at a press conference where he found out the news about the refusal to extradite, Coe insisted the police needed full cooperation from those under suspicion.

"From the moment that we were confronted by the police investigation into these allegations, I made it very, very clear to everybody within my organisation and within the council that we would be fully cooperative," he told reporters.

"On the criminal investigation particularly, I have made it very clear that we need, that the sport needs, to understand the full nature of these allegations, to bring this to a head as quickly as possible.

"And I do encourage every country, every federation to cooperate as fully as they can with the French investigation that is taking place."

Papa Massata Diack is the son of Coe's disgraced predecessor, Lamine Diack, who stood down as world athletics president in August before being charged with corruption by French judges.

Earlier on Friday, it was reported by the BBC that Senegalese prime minister Mohammed Dionne said the west African country would not extradite its citizens.

Papa Massata Diack is one of the former president's 15 children.

He was banned for life by the IAAF's ethics commission on Jan 7.

The commission found that the younger Diack along with others "conspired to extort what were in substance bribes from the athlete by acts of blackmail".

Interpol announced earlier this month that it had issued a wanted notice for the younger Diack, on "bribery, money-laundering and corruption charges".

Ever since the doping and corruption allegations surfaced, Coe has been fighting a rearguard battle to salvage his and the sport's reputation.

The 59-year-old double Olympic champion found himself at the eye of the storm after a World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) independent commission published two damning reports, in November and earlier this month, detailing "embedded" corruption within the top echelons of the IAAF.

Coe, who served eight years as a vice-president under Diack, was a member of the IAAF Council that should have been aware of the astonishing level of corruption, Wada said.

Dick Pound, former Wada president and author of the reports, handed Coe a lifeline, however, when he publicly endorsed him as the right man to lead the IAAF out of the storm engulfing the Olympics' flagship sport.