Diack in trouble yet again

Papa Massata Diack is facing an avalanche of allegations and is wanted by the Interpol.
Papa Massata Diack is facing an avalanche of allegations and is wanted by the Interpol.

LONDON • PMD - those three initials, standing for Papa Massata Diack, threaten to become as emblematic in the slow-motion collapse of global sport as JSB, the moniker by which Joseph Sepp Blatter was known within the walls of football's Fifa House.

Yet, in many ways the 50-year-old son of the disgraced former International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) president Lamine Diack is the polar opposite of Blatter.

Whereas Blatter faces multiple charges of aiding and enabling cronyism, he has not yet been accused of benefiting from bribery.

Diack, on the other hand, faces an avalanche of allegations as he hunkers down in Dakar, Senegal, with an Interpol red notice hanging over his head.

For 15 years he had been a familiar, fleeting presence whenever the self-appointed captains of the global sports industry gathered.

Wherever the big, lucrative decisions were taken about the sport that had become his father's personal fiefdom - sponsorships, bidding races, TV contracts - he would be there. Even at International Olympic Committee (IOC) meetings.

A cache of e-mails seen by The Guardian in 2014 revealed just how Diack operated, inserting himself into Qatar's desire to bid for major sporting events including the 2016 and 2020 Olympics.

The latest revelation about the payment of around €1.3 million (S$2 million) from Tokyo 2020, which may have been to influence votes Lamine Diack had control over, was just one manifestation of Papa Massata Diack's enhanced ambition.

Papa Massata has said that he did not wish to comment on the specifics of the alleged payment, as the matter was under investigation by the French police.

"I strongly deny these allegations," he said.

"As to the allegations with respect to Qatar, which I have consistently challenged, they have never been proven."

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 13, 2016, with the headline 'Diack in trouble yet again'. Print Edition | Subscribe