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 Former head of Chinese Athletics Association sentenced to 13 years in prison for bribery
Category:Judicial News  
Subject:Criminal law   ; Legal proceeding   ; Criminal action   ; Science, education, culture and sports  
Publish Date:03-27-2024

WUHAN -- A court in central China's Hubei Province on Tuesday sentenced Yu Hongchen, former president of the Chinese Athletics Association, to 13 years in prison for taking bribes.
According to the verdict issued by the Huangshi Intermediate People's Court, the defendant was also fined 2 million yuan (about 281,916 U.S. dollars), while his illegal gains were seized and turned over to the state treasury.
The court found that between 2010 and 2023, Yu took advantage of his various positions related to China's football and athletics sectors, including vice president of the Chinese Football Association and president of the Chinese Athletics Association, to seek profits for others on issues such as enterprise operation, league promotion and job competition. In return, he illegally accepted money and valuables worth more than 22.54 million yuan.
In particular, Yu sought illicit benefits for multiple football clubs regarding qualification for leagues, arrangement of sports events, refereeing decisions and football player transfers, which seriously undermined the level playing field and the ecology of the Chinese football sector, and caused tremendous damage to this sector, according to the verdict.
Among the bribes Yu accepted, a total of 3.5 million yuan was intended to be obtained but not successfully received by Yu. He confessed his crimes truthfully, showed remorse, and returned some of his illegal gains. These facts were also taken into consideration by the court when handing down the sentence.

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