Ex-athletics leader Diack handed two-year prison sentence for corruption
Lamine Diack, the former president of the IAAF, now known as World Athletics, has today been sentenced to two years in prison after being found guilty of corruption in a French court.
The 87-year-old Senegalese official was charged with covering up positive doping tests of Russian athletes in return for money.
Diack (pictured) headed up the IAAF from 1999 to 2015, when he was succeeded by current president Sebastian Coe, and was also a senior figure at the International Olympic Committee.
Following a trial in Paris, Diack was sentenced to four years in prison, two of them suspended, and given a maximum fine of €500,000 ($593,000).
The presiding judge Rose-Marie Hunault said that Diack’s actions had “undermined the values of athletics and the fight against doping.”
Five other individuals received jail sentences, including Diack's son Papa Massata Diack, who served as a marketing consultant at the IAAF.
However, the elder Diack's lawyers said there will be an appeal, and, regardless of the outcome, he is unlikely to go to jail, with the judge saying that because of his age he can expect a conditional release.
The ex-athletics boss was charged with directly or indirectly soliciting €3.2 million from Russian athletes to cover up positive drugs tests to enable them to continue competing in events, including at the London 2012 Olympic Games and the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow.
It was claimed that a total of 23 athletes had avoided sanctions for positive tests.
Diack was also accused of directing $1.5 million of the Russian money to help finance election campaigns in Senegal, including Macky Sall’s successful run for president in 2012.
Diack did admit delaying the doping probes, but said this was done "for the financial health of the IAAF," which was negotiating a sponsorship deal with Russian bank VTB at the time.
Massata Diack, who was tried in his absence, as Senegal had refused extradition requests, was handed a five-year prison sentence, and fined €1 million.
It was found that $15 million had been siphoned off to his companies, including commissions from contracts and TV rights sales, while his father was president of the IAAF.
Both men have been ordered to pay World Athletics €5 million in damages for breach of trust.
The other individuals convicted for corruption in Paris were Gabriel Dollé, the former director of the IAAF’s anti-doping department, who received a suspended two-year jail sentence and was fined €144,000, and Habib Cissé, Diack’s former legal adviser at the federation, who was jailed for three years, two of them suspended, and fined €100,000.
Valentin Balakhnichev, the former head of the Russian Athletics Federation and ex-IAAF treasurer, and Alexei Melnikov, a Russian coach, were tried in their absence and given prison sentences of three years and two years respectively.