New Delhi: The former head of International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), Lamine Diack has been placed under formal investigation as part of a corruption and doping inquiry, according to reports in French media.
Diack, who was replaced by Sebastian Coe as the president of IAAF early in August, is suspected of receiving money in exchange for protecting Russian athletes in 2011.
In its statement, the French financial prosecutor said: "Diack is suspected of receiving money in exchange for deferring sanctions for several Russian athletes who were found guilty of doping in 2011, ahead of the Olympic Games."
It also confirmed that, Senegal-born Diack and his advisor Habib Cisse were arrested on Sunday and were released on Tuesday after being interrogated and put under investigation.
"Diack and Cisse were arrested on Sunday and released on Tuesday, after being interrogated by police officers and judges... They were presented to a judge on Tuesday who informed them that they had been put under a formal investigation. The investigation also continues into whether other persons were involved in suspected corruption," the statement added.
Further reports claimed that the IAAF's new president Coe was also questioned by French police on Tuesday.
Then, the world athletics body in a statement said, “The IAAF is fully cooperating with all investigations as it has been from the beginning of the process.
"As part of the French investigation, police visited the IAAF HQ offices yesterday to carry out interviews and to access documentation."
Diack, 82, was a former long jumper and was the president of IAAF from 1999 to 2015.
This new development will serve as a severe blow to IAAF's bid to clean up its doping-tainted image following sensational revelations by German broadcaster ARD/WDR in December last year.