Papa Massata Diack has been sentenced to five-year in prison ©Getty Images

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has hailed the decision by a Court of Appeal in Paris to confirm a five-year prison sentence on Papa Massata Diack as "victory".

The former marketing consultant of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) - now rebranded as World Athletics - was convicted in September 2020 in a case related to the Russian state-sponsored doping scandal.

At the same trial, his father and the former President of the IAAF Lamine Diack was convicted of accepting €3.2 million ($3.8 million/£2.75 million) in bribes from athletes suspected of doping, to cover up their test results and let them continue competing, including in the 2012 Olympics in London.

He was sentenced to four years in prison, two suspended, though he remained under house arrest, and was later released on bail and allowed to return home to Senegal, where he died in December 2021 at the age of 88.

Papa Massata was found guilty of siphoning off $15 million (£11.5 million/€12.5 million) to his companies while his father led the IAAF, and together they were ordered to pay World Athletics €5 million (£4.6 million/$5.9 million) in damages for breach of trust.

A 10-year prohibition on holding any job linked to sports was also pronounced by the court.

But Papa Massata has so far stayed out of the clutches of the French legal system as he has refused to leave Senegal to appear before the Court.

WADA President Witold Bańka said the decision to sentence Papa Massata Diack was a victory for clean sport ©Getty Images
WADA President Witold Bańka said the decision to sentence Papa Massata Diack was a victory for clean sport ©Getty Images

One small win for Papa Massata was that the Court of Appeal halved the fine imposed on him, cutting it from €1 million to €500,000.

The French Court also confirmed the fine of €100,000 against Habib Cissé, the former legal adviser to Lamine Diack, but his three-year prison sentence was suspended.

As part of the original ruling, WADA, an interested party to this case, was awarded more than €200,000 in costs and damages.

"WADA welcomes this decision, which is a victory for clean sport," WADA President Witold Bańka said.

"It finally brings to an end a long-running case that started on the basis of information shared by WADA with the French authorities, who opened a criminal investigation in 2015.

"This case shows the importance of WADA's collaboration with law enforcement agencies around the world as we seek to ensure that those who engage in corruption or try to cheat the system face the appropriate sanctions."

But Papa Massata's lawyer Marie-Sophie Goldschmidt claimed the latest judgement was a "copy and paste" from the original verdict.

"Papa Massata Diack was sentenced more for his absence than for the offences imputed to him," she told Reuters.

"This decision is rather illogical."

Papa Massata refused to comment on the decision.