PARIS (Reuters) – The former head of world athletics’ governing body, Lamine Diack, was convicted in France on Wednesday of corruption in a Russian doping scandal and sentenced to spend at least two years in jail.
Diack, 87, was found guilty of accepting bribes from athletes suspected of doping, to cover up test results and let them continue competing, including in the 2012 London Olympics.
The court also found Diack guilty of accepting Russian money to help finance Macky Sall’s campaign for the 2012 Senegal presidential election, in exchange for slowing anti-doping procedures.
Prosecutors said Diack had solicited bribes totalling €3.45 million (S$5.5 million) from athletes suspected of drugs cheating.
The presiding judge said the former long-jumper’s actions had “undermined the values of athletics and the fight against doping”.
The court handed Diack a four-year prison sentence, two years of which are suspended. It also imposed the maximum fine of €500,000.
Diack was once one of the most influential men in the sport, leading the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) from 1999 to 2015. The IAAF is now known as World Athletics.
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