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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 January 2008, 09:30 GMT
Shanghai F1 boss jailed for graft
Yu Zhifei in 2004 file photo
Yu Zhifei was caught up in a wider corruption scandal
A sports magnate credited with bringing Formula One to China has been jailed for four years for corruption, according to Chinese media.

Yu Zhifei, ex-manager of the Shanghai International Circuit, was convicted of embezzling more than 1m yuan (69,500; $137,500) during the late 1990s.

The charges related to his time as head of Shanghai Shenhua Football Club.

He is one of a number of the city's top officials arrested and expelled from the Communist Party for corruption.

They include the city's former Communist Party chief, Chen Liangyu, who is in custody but has not yet been charged.

Luxury home

Between 2004 and 2006 Yu helped to develop Shanghai's state-of-the-art Formula One racing track, which cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

And he helped to organise the country's first Grand Prix in September 2004.

But Yu came under investigation in 2006 in a wide-ranging probe of Shanghai's officials.

He was eventually convicted at a court in Wuhu City, Anhui province, of embezzling funds from Shenhua Football Club to pay for a luxury home.

The Sina.com website reported that Yu was considering whether to appeal against his conviction.

SEE ALSO
China's F1 track chief dismissed
21 May 07 |  Asia-Pacific
China cracks down on corruption
24 Oct 06 |  Asia-Pacific

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