The New York Times reports. The president of FIBA, Hamane Niang of Mali, is accused of ignoring cases of sexual harassment of women in his country's basketball community. At the time of the alleged facts, he was president of the Malian federation and then minister of sports.
In response, the accused decided to leave his post "at least temporarily". The interim at the head of FIBA will be ensured by the vice-president Sheik Saud Ali Al-Thani.
The New York Times investigation was written by journalists Jere Longman and Romain Molina. According to them, the events took place between 1999 and 2011, concerning many players who were teenagers at the time.
"Right to the presumption of innocence
The Malian leader refuted his accusations. "I was never involved and I was never aware of the accusations described in your correspondence," Hamane Niang wrote in an email to the New York Times.
FIBA reacted immediately by asking its independent integrity officer, Richard McLaren, to look into the matter. The investigation is expected to be completed after the Olympic Games (23 July to 8 August in Tokyo).
However, the world's basketball leaders are wary, for the moment, of denouncing their boss. "FIBA insists that its president is entitled to the presumption of innocence and will not comment further until the investigation is concluded," the body said in a statement.
Hamane Niang, 69, has been president of FIBA since 2019. He was president of FIBA Africa from 2014 to 2019 and succeeded Argentine Horacio Muratore.