By Duncan Mackay in Daegu

Lamine_Diack_in_China_October_2010August 23 - Lamine Diack has claimed on the eve of his re-election here as President of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) that he has been cleared of any wrongdoing after he was accused of taking bribes in a Panorama programme broadcast by the BBC last November.

Diack, 78, was one of several senior sports administrators that Panorama alleged had taken bribes from former sports marketing agency International Sport and Leisure (ISL) before its collapse in 2001.

The programme, quoting from previously unseen documents, alleged that Diack received 52.680 Swiss francs in instalments from ISL to help secure television and marketing contracts.

Several other high-ranking officials were also implicated in the programme, broadcast on the eve of the vote for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups last November, includinng former FIFA President João Havelange and Issa Hayatou, the President of Confederation of African Football (CAF).

Like Havelange and Hayatou, Diack is also a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and their Ethics Commission launched an investigation into the allegations, including requesting all the information that the BBC had obtained.

The programme was presented by Andrew Jennings, whose book Lords of the Rings, published in 1992, lifted the lid on corruption within the Olympic Movement.

Diack, who has been President of the IAAF since the death of Italian Primo Nebiolo in 1999, admits that the Ethics Commission wrote to him in April about the allegations.

"I answered to the Ethics Commission and I had no more reaction from them," he told insidethegames.

"That put an end to that."

Diack is standing unopposed at the IAAF Congress here tomorrow after vice-presidents Sebastian Coe and Sergey Bubka both pulled back from challenging him. 

It would have been embarrassing for the world governing body if Diack had been re-elected and then been given a sanction by the IOC.

He is not expecting any problems in the future, however.

"Nothing will happen [to me] I don't think," he said.

"But I'm happy to answer any more questions that they might have."

Diack had claimed at his last election in Osaka in 2007 that he would step down but has decided to carry on following, what he claims, is pressure from around the world to stay in his post until 2015.

His election will mean he is at the helm of the IAAF at London 2012 and also when it celebrates its centenary next year.

Diack has issued a manifesto here, setting out what he claims will be his targets during the next four years.

Entiitled "A Final Mandate: Challenge, Consolidation and Reform" they include introducing a new management structure at the IAAF to help reduce costs and to ensure greater efficiency and to put more resources into new media.

Sebastian_Coe_wtih_Lamine_Diack_August_2011The real interest in tomorrow's election will lay in the vice-presidents where Coe (pictured with Diack) and Bubka are among the six contenders for the four positions.

The one who earns the most votes will inevitably be labelled as the favourite to succeed Diack when he steps down in four years.

Coe received some powerful support today from Kevan Gosper, the former vice-president of the IOC.

"He is part of the DNA of today's athletics," Gosper told AAP.

"As an athlete he was an inspirational role model for young people.

"He is committed to athletics and the importance of the Olympic Movement.

"He is in charge of one of the most significant Olympic Games, he has a good grasp of commerciality and I see him as one of those people who are really going to move events forward.

"He is the full package."

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November 2010: Tom Degun - Bubka versus Coe looks set to be a true battle of the titans
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