French court upholds corruption sentence for Papa Massata Diack

FILE PHOTO: Papa Massata Diack, the son of former world athletics chief Lamine Diack, attends a news conference in Dakar, Senegal September 17, 2020. REUTERS/Christophe Van Der Perre

PARIS (Reuters) -Paris's appeal court on Thursday upheld a corruption conviction for Papa Massata Diack, son of Lamine Diack, the late former head of world athletics' governing body.

Papa Massata, who has denied all wrongdoing, is currently in Senegal, where he fled seven years ago when the French investigation first began.

Papa Massata and his father were at the heart of a scandal that involved taking kickbacks from Russian athletes in return for concealing positive drug tests, which enabled them to continue competing, including at the 2012 London Olympics.

Both men were convicted on fraud charges in France in September 2020. Papa Massata was sentenced at the time to five years in jail and hit with a 1 million euro fine.

The jail sentence was confirmed by the appeals court on Thursday, while the fine was reduced to 500,000 euros ($527,750.00).

His father, Lamine Diack, once one of the most powerful men in world athletics, was handed a four-year prison sentence in 2020 but he was never jailed.

Diack remained under house arrest in France and was later released on bail, allowing him to return to Senegal where he died in December 2021 aged 88.

($1 = 0.9474 euros)

(Reporting by Juliette Jabkhiro; Editing by Ingrid Melander and Alex Richardson)

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