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Ex-Chief Of World Athletics Convicted In Corruption Trial, Given Prison Term

Lamine Diack
Lamine Diack

A French court on September 16 found former world athletics chief Lamine Diack guilty of corruption in covering up Russian doping cases and sentenced him to four years in prison, of which two years were suspended.

Diack, an 87-year-old Senegalese who led the International Association of Athletics Federations, now renamed World Athletics, from 1999 to 2015, was also fined 500,000 euros ($600,000). He has the right to appeal.

Diack was found guilty of involvement in a bribery scheme that allowed Russian athletes who should have been suspended for doping to continue competing, including in the 2012 London Olympics.

In laying out their case, prosecutors said Diack solicited bribes totaling 3.45 million euros ($4.1 million) from athletes suspected of drugs cheating and paid off other officials at the International Association of Athletics Federations to aid with the cover-up.

During the trial, he denied the corruption allegations, although he acknowledged slowing the handling of Russian doping cases between 2011-13 to save a sponsorship deal with a Russian bank and avoid public scandal.

His son Papa Massata Diack, who fled from France to Senegal after the French investigation began, was also on trial and sentenced to five years in prison and fined 1 million euros for his part in the scheme.

The court also ordered both men to pay World Athletics 5 million euros in damages for breach of trust.

Four others also were found guilty of corruption offenses in the case.

Based on reporting by AFP, AP, Reuters, and dpa

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