World sport looks set to become mired in yet another alleged corruption scandal following the arrest of the former president of the International Athletics Associations Federations – the governing body of world athletics.
Lamine Diack and close adviser Habib Cisse were arrested and questioned by French prosecutors earlier this week.
The police are investigating claims that the pair was paid money in 2011 to delay sanctions against Russian athletes who allegedly failed drugs tests.
The money was said to have been paid before the London 2012 Olympic Games in a bid to allow the unnamed athletes to take part.
Russian athletics administrators deny the claim.
Police investigation underway
Revelations surrounding the claims have been broadcast by a German TV station and published by the Sunday Times.
Both media outlets suggest athletes throughout the sport are taking performance enhancing drugs and escaping punishment.
Britain’s Lord Coe stepped into the role of IAAF president earlier this year and when quizzed about the allegations responded they were simply rumours.
The IAAF has now confirmed police searched the body’s offices in Monaco and interviewed staff at the weekend.
Coe has announced that the IAAF is helping the investigators.
French police confirmed the arrests and investigation.
World Cup bribery claims
“Diack is suspected of receiving money to defer sanctions against a number of Russian athletes before the Olympic Games.
“The inquiry is ongoing and we are determining if further arrests are necessary.”
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has declined to comment until the publication of an independent report into the allegations. WADA is responsible for testing athletes for compliance with doping rules in athletics.
The case follows on the heels of another major inquiry into alleged corruption in world football involving payments of millions of pounds to officials working at the top of the governing body FIFA.
President Sepp Blatter and former French international soccer star Michel Platini have both been suspended from their posts following accusations that they took money in return for favours.
Police are also investigating claims that bribes were paid to FIFA officials to vote for Russia and Qatar as World Cup Finals hosts in 2018 and 2022. Both nations deny the allegations.
Investigators are also looking at previous World Cup bidding procedures and have raided the headquarters of German football.