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Ex-IAAF president Lamine Diack's corruption trial delayed until June

Lamine Diack was the president of the IAAF, now World Athletics, between 1999 and 2015. Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

The corruption trial of former IAAF president Lamine Diack has been delayed until June, with a court in Paris adjourning proceedings after fresh evidence against another defendant was submitted.

The two-week trial was expected to detail 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.

The 86-year-old Diack, who served as the president of athletics' governing body from 1999 to 2015, had been due to stand on trial in Paris on charges of corruption, money laundering and breach of trust. Prosecutors say he directly or indirectly solicited €3.45 million ($3.8 million) from athletes suspected by the IAAF of doping who paid to have their names cleared so they could continue competing. About two dozen Russian athletes were reportedly involved.

However, the case was adjourned after documents concerning the testimony that Diack's son and co-defendant, Papa Massata Diack, gave in Senegal in November were submitted to the court. Papa Massata is currently in Senegal, with the country refusing extradition requests for the former IAAF marketing consultant who was set to be tried in absentia before the adjournment.

Diack is also accused of having enabled his son to embezzle IAAF sponsorship revenue from Russia's VTB Bank, Chinese oil firm Sinopec and broadcaster CCTV, South Korean tech giant Samsung and others.

Papa Massata was also charged with corruption, money laundering and breach of trust.

At the opening of the hearing, the prosecution asked that the trial be delayed to weigh new evidence received from Senegal, where Diack was born and his son lives, shielded from an international arrest warrant issued by France.

Prosecutors said they received the evidence -- three thick folders of notes that they held up in court -- on Monday only hours before the hearing opened. They said it included statements that Papa Massata made to investigators in Senegal and banking details from three of his consultancy firms.

After the adjournment, Diack, who has been under house arrest in Paris for the last four years, made a request to be allowed to travel home and join his son in Senegal before June's trial. The judges retired to consider this request.

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 and investigators revealed accusations of athletes being squeezed for payments to cover up their doping cases.

Prosecutors have also charged Diack with involvement in a $1.5 million payment from Russia for use in electoral politics in Senegal. Prosecutors say the money was creamed off sponsorship and TV rights deals, negotiated with Russian officials. Prosecutors say the money was to finance presidential and legislative election campaigns in Senegal in 2012, in exchange for slowing down doping cases targeting Russian athletes.

Diack was detained on a trip to France in 2015 and has been forbidden from leaving the country ever since.

Also due to be tried for corruption are a lawyer who advised Diack, Habib Cisse, and a doctor, Gabriel Dolle, who oversaw drug testing at the IAAF and is accused of taking payments to delay doping cases.

Two Russians were also due on trial but were not expected in court: Valentin Balakhnichev, a former IAAF treasurer, and Alexei Melnikov, a coach who led Russia's long-distance running program.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.