French rugby's Bernard Laporte guilty in trial over influence peddling - reports

Bernard Laporte was standing trial alongside Mohed Altrad and Claude Atcher. Alain Jocard/AFP

Bernard Laporte, the head of the French Rugby Federation, got a two-year suspended prison sentence and a €75,000 ($79,000) fine after being found guilty in a trial over influence peddling and illegally acquiring assets, French media, including AFP, reported on Tuesday.

In the same verdict, the Paris criminal court also handed top division club Montpellier's owner Mohed Altrad a 18 months suspended prison sentence, AFP said. The court was not immediately available for comment.

Laporte was accused of undue influence in securing a role for his friend Altrad, whose construction company sponsors the France jersey. Both men denied any wrongdoing.

Le Parisien reported Laporte was found guilty of several offences including illegal taking of interest, influence peddling, corruption and embezzlement.

He will be banned from holding any position in rugby for two years, the paper added.

Next year's Rugby World Cup will be held in France from Sept. 8 to Oct. 28.

The verdict can still be appealed.