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Former head of world athletics Lamine Diack is convicted of corruption

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Former head of athletics’ governing body, Lamine Diack, has been sentenced to two years in prison after being found guilty of corruption charges in connection with the Russian doping scandal, a court in Paris announced Wednesday.

Diack, 87, was found guilty of soliciting $ 4.1 million ($ 3.45 million) from athletes suspected of doping to cover up the allegations and allow them to continue to compete, including at the 2012 London Olympics.

He was sentenced to four years in prison on Wednesday, two of which are suspended, and a fine of $ 594,000 (500,000 euros).

The Senegalese was one of the most influential men in the sport and led the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), now renamed World Athletics, from 1999-2015.

It is unclear whether he will spend any time in prison, as he has been under house arrest in Paris since 2015.

During the trial, Diack reportedly denied all charges.

Diack’s lawyers called the verdict “unjust and inhumane” and confirmed that they would appeal the decision.

Diack’s son, Papa Massata, was also sentenced to five years in prison and fined $ 1.19 million (one million euros) for his role in corruption.

Papa Massata, who fled France to Senegal after authorities opened the investigation, had always denied any wrongdoing.

Antoine Beauquier, Papa Massata’s attorney, told CNN he would appeal the decision, saying the sentences were severe for both men.

‘I didn’t expect anything else. That’s just a copy of the prosecutor’s demands, ”he told CNN over the phone.

“They are sanctioning him for not being there and he couldn’t be there.”

Both men have also been ordered to pay World Athletics $ 5.93 million (five million euros) in damages.

The sport’s governing body thanked prosecutors for their work and pledged to invest the allocated money in the development of athletics worldwide.

While we are disappointed that this has happened in our sport, we are grateful for the firm and clear decisions that have been made against the individuals involved and accused of these crimes, and we want to assure everyone that the reforms approved by our Congress in 2016 are ensure that similar actions by individuals can never occur again in our sport, ”you read a statement World athletics on Wednesday.

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