In yet another blow to the scandal-tainted international athletics federation, French police have charged Lamine Diack, the former head of the governing body, over suspicions he took bribes to cover up doping cases.
Police raided the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) headquarters in Monaco before charging 82-year-old Lamine Diack, who stood down in August when Britain's Sebastian Coe was elected to head the scandal-tainted federation.
Coe asked to be questioned by investigators over the case during the raid on Tuesday, news agency AFP reported, citing IAAF spokesman Chris Turner.
The sensational charges come just days before a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) commission, looking into allegations of widespread substance abusein Russia, Kenya and among world champions, is expected to release a report.
The 82-year-old Senegalese official and his legal advisor, Habib Cisse, were charged with corruption, money laundering and conspiracy, French prosecutors said in a statement. Both were released on bail.
Broadcaster iTele cited a judicial source saying that the two are suspected of having received money from the Russian athletics federation to cover up positive doping tests of Russian athletes.
A former IAAF anti-doping doctor, Gabriel Dolle, was detained for questioning, the French prosecutors added.
The IAAF said that the police probe emanates from ongoing examinations by its independent ethics committee and the WADA commission.
Russian athletics has been plagued by positive tests of athletes and allegations of systematic doping, made in a German television documentary last year, which prompted the probes.
Diack, a former long jumper who was born in 1933, headed the athletics body from 1999 until this year, a period when international athletics was hit with repeated doping scandals.
His son, Pape Massata Diack, was forced to resign last December as an IAAF marketing executive over accusations that he organized doping cover-ups for Russian athletes.
Valentin Balakhnishev, president of the Russian athletics federation, also stood down as IAAF treasurer.