Bernard Laporte Noel Le-Graet France Sporting handball Rugby Bernard Laporte Noel Le-Graet France

French handball league chief handed suspended prison sentence for corruption of a minor

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PARIS :The head of France's LNH Handball league has been handed a one-year suspended prison sentence for corruption of a minor and recording of child pornography images, his lawyer said on Wednesday.Police questioned Bruno Martini, 52, on Monday and Tuesday and he "admitted to the facts", his lawyer, Elie Dottelonde, told Reuters.

Martini subsequently resigned as LNH president."Bruno Martini presented today his resignation as president of the National Handball League, with immediate effect," the LNH said in a statement.Martini went through a fast-track procedure for defendants who admit the charges they face.

Martini was known for winning two world championship titles with France as a goalkeeper in 1995 and 2001.The court sided with the prosecution office, which had requested a one-year suspended prison sentence as well as a 2,500 euro ($2,719.00) fine and a five-year ban from professional activity which could result in contact with minors.Franceinfo radio, which first reported the case, said the investigation dated back to a 13-year-old boy's complaint in 2020 and quoted Martini as saying he believed the boy was over 15 - the age of consent in France.

Reuters was unable immediately to confirm this.The case is the latest judicial investigation involving a high-level sports official as France gears up to host the 2024 Olympic Games.

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