UPDATE 2-Olympics-Hayatou, Diack escape serious punishment over ISL payments

Thu Dec 8, 2011 2:31pm EST

Related Topics

* IAAF boss Diack receives warning

* African soccer boss Hayatou reprimanded (Updates with further details, quotes, background)

By Karolos Grohmann

LAUSANNE, Switzerland, Dec 8 (Reuters) - World athletics chief Lamine Diack and African soccer boss Issa Hayatou got off with a warning and a reprimand from the International Olympic Committee on Thursday after they admitted receiving payments from a defunct firm at the heart of a corruption affair.

Joao Havelange, president of world soccer governing body FIFA from 1974-1998 and an IOC member for 48 years, resigned days ago with the IOC shelving the probe into the 95-year-old's alleged links with FIFA's former marketing agency International Sport and Leisure (ISL).

Diack and Hayatou admitted to the IOC's ethics commission that they were paid by ISL in 1993 and 1995 respectively with the IOC saying in its decision that it constituted a conflict of interest.

Neither Diack nor Hayatou were IOC members at the time the payments were made and the decision on Thursday does not affect their duties or rights within the IOC.

Diack received a warning while Hayatou got a reprimand. IOC President Jacques Rogge said the fact they were not IOC members at the time was a "mitigating factor".

"The IOC has proven that it respects its own rules, (it has) high respect of ethical behaviour and we will not hesitate to act when evidence is brought to us," Rogge told reporters.

"The wider world would agree... that the IOC means business and that the IOC is accountable and transparent," Rogge added.

HOUSE FIRE

IOC documents showed International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) president Diack told the IOC he had received three payments totalling $30,000 as well as 30,000 French francs from ISL "in order to meet the costs caused by a fire at his house that started on March 13 1993".

A marketing contract between the IAAF and ISL was signed less than three months later.

"...Diack personally received cash payments from ISL at a time when the company was in negotiations with the IAAF to sign a marketing contract...Mr Lamine Diack placed himself in a conflict of interest situation," the IOC said.

Cameroon's Hayatou said he had received 100,000 French francs from ISL in 1995 for the 40th anniversary of the African Football Confederation (CAF).

"Mr Issa Hayatou personally received a cash payment from ISL, which was, at that time, a marketing partner of FIFA, of which he was Vice President," the IOC.

It said Hayatou had produced documents that were dated long after the event and could "not guarantee that the payments were indeed made into the CAF accounts".

Diack was an IAAF vice president at the time he received the payments while CAF president Hayatou, an IOC member since 2001, was already a FIFA Executive Board member in 1995.

The last IOC member to be reprimanded was International Ice Hockey Federation boss Rene Fasel, who in 2010 was found to have breached ethics rules in a case involving the federation's broadcasting rights.

ISL has been the subject of corruption allegations for years.

The BBC's Panorama programme reported last year that documents showed senior sports officials were paid kickbacks in return for granting ISL lucrative World Cup television and sponsorship rights during the 1990s.

FIFA has pledged to re-open the case but has yet to issue any sanctions in an affair that mainly affects its own senior officials. Panorama named Ricardo Teixeira and Nicolas Leoz but they have denied any wrongdoing.

Teixeira is president of the Brazilian Football Confederation and the 2014 World Cup organising committee. (Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Mark Meadows)

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