Lamine Diack, the former president of the world athletics governing body (IAAF), admitted to slowing the handling of Russian doping cases between 2011-2013 in front of a French court on Thursday.
Diack, along with five others, began their corruption trial on Monday, with the 86-year-old Senegal native officially being tried for corruption, money laundering and breach of trust. Diack allegedly received payments from Russian athletes to cover up their doping cases in order to allow them to continue to compete.
On Thursday, per a report from the BBC, he admitted to slowing the handling of Russian doping cases “for the financial health” of the organization.
“We were going through a difficult moment financially,” he said. “My duty was to make sure the IAAF got out of it.
“Who took the decision to spread out the [sanction procedures]? It was me. It was mainly for the financial health of the IAAF. The financial health of the IAAF had to be safeguarded and I was prepared to make that compromise.”
Diack is being accused of accepting around 3.45m Euros to cover-up the doping.
He claims the incentive for the cover-ups was to prevent the doping cases derailing talks with potential Russian sponsors.
Currently denying the charges he’s facing, Diack could face up to 10 years in jail if found guilty.