PARIS: The disgraced former head of global athletics, Lamine Diack, sentenced by a French court to four years in prison, will be allowed to return to Senegal after posting a bond with French justice, sources said late on Monday.

Diack’s lawyers said a Senegalese football club had raised the money to pay the bond.

The 87-year-old Diack led the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), now renamed World Athletics, from 1999 to 2015.

He was found guilty in September of corruption in covering up Russian doping cases and was sentenced to four years in prison, of which two years were suspended, and fined 500,000 euros (600,000 dollars). Diack has appealed.

At the time, the presiding judge in the court in Paris, Rose-Marie Hunault, said Diack was unlikely to go to jail.

“Given your age you can expect conditional release,” she said.

Diack was being held in France because of his indictment in a second case involving suspected Olympic vote-buying. His passport had been confiscated.

But a judge recently lifted the ban on Diack leaving France, provided he paid a bond and that he continues to respond to summonses, according to the order.

“He paid the 500,000 euros last week,” one of his lawyers, Simon Ndiaye, said, while adding that Diack still had ‘administrative formalities to complete’ before returning to Senegal.

A member of his family said that Diack should return to Dakar by this Friday.

Senegalese Premier League side Jaraaf de Dakar, where Diack was club president, said it had sold part of its headquarters property to pay the bail.

“We sold half of Ker Jaraaf, which is 5,700 square metres. One part of the money was used to pay the deposit, “current president Cheikh Seck tsaid on Monday.

Diack had two spells in charge of the club, in the 1970s and 2000s.

Published in Dawn, May 5th, 2021

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