Former athletics chief Diack guilty of Russian doping of athletes

Athletes  have sparked world records in the past decade, with majority of them exuding pure talent while some questionably achieve the unachievable in breaking the set records . To eliminate these doubts that may cloud spectators and fans, athletes are cleared of any drug or supplement use that may enhance their performance. A process known as doping has been described by the sports medicine organisation as the use of banned substances in competitive sports. Performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) is another term used to for drugs used by athletes to improve their athletic performance.

The former head of athletics’ world governing body, Lamine Diack, was on Wednesday found guilty by a French court of corruption in covering up Russian doping cases and sentenced to four years in prison, two of which were suspended.  Diack, an 87-year-old Senegalese who led the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), now renamed World Athletics, for 16 years was also fined 500,000 euros ($600,000).

The presiding judge in the court in Paris, Rose-Marie Hunault, said Diack’s actions had “caused serious damage to the fight against doping”. Other senior figures in track and field, including Diack’s son Papa Massata Diack and the IAAF’s former head of anti-doping Gabriel Dolle, were also given prison terms for their part in a scheme in which 23 Russian athletes had their doping offences hushed up so they could compete at the 2012 London Olympics and 2013 world championships in Moscow.

The prosecution alleged that under the scheme, named “Full Protection”, individual Russian athletes paid 3.2 million euros ($3.8 million) in exchange for the IAAF’s anti-doping body covering up their drug-taking.Diack told the court it was his decision to renounce bans after the athletes failed tests in 2011, but he has  denied knowing that officials from the body had directly or indirectly asked those athletes for payment to hush up their cases.

He said he was acting to safeguard “the financial health of the IAAF” because the federation was negotiating major sponsorship contracts with Russian bank VTB and a Russian broadcaster at the time.Diack, who was decorated in the Kremlin in late 2011, denied taking an additional $1.5 million of Russian funding to finance the successful campaign by Macky Sall for the Senegal presidency.

Diack, who was in court to hear his sentence, said he would immediately lodge an appeal.The judge said Diack was unlikely to go to prison, telling him: “Given your age you can expect conditional release.”

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