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IOC member Drut sentenced for corruption, fined

PARIS -- International Olympic Committee member Guy Drut was given a 15-month suspended sentence and fined $60,000 Wednesday in a corruption and party-financing trial, raising the possibility of sanctions from the Olympic body.

The former French sports minister, the 110-meter hurdles champion at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, was convicted of benefiting
from a fictitious job at a construction company from June 1990 to
February 1993.

He was found guilty of receiving misused company assets. Two
other former government ministers were among others also sentenced.

Drut, is one of three French members of the International
Olympic Committee, along with Henri Serandour and Jean-Claude
Killy. He is also a lawmaker with French President Jacques Chirac's
conservative party.

The conviction raises the prospect that Drut could be penalized by the IOC. Punishments can include a warning, suspension or expulsion. IOC president Jacques Rogge advocates a "zero tolerance" policy toward unethical conduct.

The trial centered on allegations that companies funneled large
amounts of money during the 1990s to major political parties in
exchange for contracts to build and renovate schools in the Paris
region.

Drut was not present in court, and it was unclear whether he
would appeal. In May, he defended himself against allegations that
his job was phony, saying he had been hired because he was a former
Olympic champion with selling power.

IOC spokeswoman Giselle Davies said the IOC ethics commission
would seek confirmation of the court decision before studying the
matter further "and in due course making a recommendation to the
IOC."

Three IOC members have resigned or been expelled in recent
ethics cases. Bulgaria's Ivan Slavkov was expelled in July after
being implicated in a BBC television documentary on alleged Olympic
corruption. Indonesia's Mohamad "Bob" Hasan, who was jailed in a
scam involving a forest-mapping project in the 1990s, was kicked
out in Aug. 2004.

Former IOC vice president Kim Un-yong of South Korea resigned
earlier this year rather than face expulsion. He was suspended by
the IOC last year after being convicted of corruption charges in
South Korea.

In addition, six IOC members were expelled and four resigned in
1998 and 1999 following the Salt Lake City vote-buying scandal.