Lamine Diack, Issa Hayatou: Only a slap

LAUSANNE, Switzerland -- Two senior African IOC members avoided major sanctions Thursday from the Olympic committee in the ethics scandal that led to the resignation of former FIFA President Joao Havelange.

IAAF President Lamine Diack of Senegal received a warning and African soccer head Issa Hayatou of Cameroon was given a reprimand after an investigation by the Olympic body's ethics commission.

The rulings, which cited conflicts of interest by both men, amounted to a mere slap on the wrist. They both remain full International Olympic Committee members and are free to carry out their Olympic duties as normal.

Diack and Hayatou were investigated for receiving payments from FIFA's former marketing agency, ISL, which collapsed with debts of $300 million in 2001. Neither were IOC members at the time.

The verdicts by the IOC executive board came just days after the 95-year-old Havelange resigned to avoid suspension in the decade-old case dating to his days as FIFA president.

In differentiating between the rulings on Diack and Hayatou, IOC President Jacques Rogge said "a warning is not a sanction; a reprimand is a sanction."

Rogge said the fact that both were not IOC members at the time served as "mitigating circumstances" in the decision not to suspend them.

"The IOC has proven it respects its own rules, that we have high respect for ethical behavior and we do not hesitate to act when needed and evidence is brought to us," he said. "The IOC means business. The IOC is accountable and transparent."

Hayatou, an IOC member since 2001, told the IOC ethics panel that he received $20,000 in cash from ISL in 1995. Hayatou, who was vice president of FIFA at the time, said the money was to help finance the 40th anniversary of the African Football Confederation.

The IOC commission said that "personally accepting a sum of money in these conditions constitutes a conflict of interest."

Diack, who joined the IOC in 1999, told the panel he received three cash payments totaling $30,000 and another $6,100 after his house in Senegal was burned down in 1993 "for political reasons." At the time, Diack was a vice president of the IAAF, which was negotiating a marketing contract with ISL.

The IOC said Diack "must have been aware" of the negotiations and "placed himself in a conflict of interests situation."

In a statement Thursday, Diack said he was "glad that we can now bring this matter to a close."

"I received gifts of cash in 1993 because my house was burned down by a political mob and I was left homeless," he said. "This payment was made to me on a personal level by people who were my friends and at that time I was neither an IOC member nor president of the IAAF, and was certainly not involved in negotiations with ISL regarding marketing and TV matters."

Diack said that, once he became IAAF president, he had the federation handle TV rights directly rather than go through ISL.

"It is clear that they received no commercial advantages once I became IAAF president," he said.

In both cases, the IOC ethics commission cited "the principle of proportionality" and the fact that the payments took place before the men joined the committee.

The last IOC member to receive a reprimand was Rene Fasel of Switzerland, an executive board member and president of the International Ice Hockey Federation. He was reprimanded in April 2010 for breaking conflict-of-interest rules by helping a friend profit from a sports marketing deal.

Havelange, the IOC's longest-serving member with 48 years of service, had faced a possible two-year suspension for allegedly taking $1 million from ISL in return for World Cup television contracts.

The IOC ethics probe stemmed from a BBC documentary last year into kickbacks allegedly paid by ISL, which owned World Cup television rights.

The ISL case was the subject of a Swiss criminal trial in 2008. FIFA has blocked the court in Zug from revealing which officials repaid $6.1 million in kickbacks. The officials repaid the money on condition that their identities remained anonymous.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter, who is also an IOC member, said in October that FIFA's executive committee would "reopen" the ISL dossier at a Dec. 16-17 meeting in Tokyo as part of a promised drive toward transparency and zero tolerance of corruption.

But, on Wednesday, FIFA said publication of the court papers would be postponed because of "legal measures taken" by a party involved in the case.