The former head of global athletics Lamine Diack, who presided over the sport from 1999 to 2015 but was later convicted for corruption, has died aged 88, his family told AFP.

The Senegalese was head of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), now renamed World Athletics, the world governing body of track and field, the cornerstone of Olympic sport.

Diack, who was also a powerful figure at the International Olympic Committee (IOC), was found guilty of corruption by a French court in 2020 for covering up Russian doping cases in exchange for millions of dollars of bribes.

He was sentenced to four years in prison, of which two were suspended, and fined 500,000 euros ($560,000).

The trial in Paris heard that the money was paid in return for “full protection”, to allow Russian athletes who should have been banned to escape punishment.

Twenty-three Russian athletes had their doping offences hushed up so they could compete at the 2012 London Olympics and 2013 world championships in Moscow.

Because of his age, Diack, a former long jumper, football coach, and then businessman and politician who was decorated in the Kremlin in late 2011, was spared jail.

His son Papa Massata Diack, a former marketing executive for the IAAF, was tried in absentia because Senegal refused to extradite him. He was sentenced to five years in prison, fined one million euros, and banned from all sport for 10 years