In this Aug. 13, 2009 file photo Lamine Diack, then president of the IAAF, speaks during a news conference prior to the World Athletics Championships in Berlin, Germany. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, file)
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The former head of world athletics, Lamine Diack, ran a clique that covered up organised doping and blackmailed athletes while senior officials looked the other way, independent investigator Dick Pound said Thursday.Despite slamming governance at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), however, Pound exonerated new IAAF President Sebastian Coe, Diack's vice president for seven years, and said he was the right man to reform the organisation.Pound, a former head of WADA, rocked the sport in November with the first part of his report, which led to athletics superpower Russia being banned from competition for state-sponsored doping.Last week the IAAF's Ethics Commission banned Massata Diack, former IAAF anti-doping chief Gabriel Dolle, former Russian athletics chief Valentin Balakhnichev and former Russian coach Aleksey Melnikov for covering up a Russian athlete's positive dope test and then blackmailing her.He said the IAAF had displayed "no genuine appetite to deal with the problems". But he eased some of the pressure on Coe by saying that suspicious blood readings found in Russian athletes in 2009, before the IAAF introduced "blood passports" to record an athlete's baseline values, had not provided a legal basis to punish those athletes.
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