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  • CAS Upholds IAAF Life Bans for Three Officials


    (ATR) The Court of Arbitration for Sport upholds the IAAF life bans for former Russian athletics chief Valentin Balakhnichev, coach Alexei Melnikov and former IAAF marketing consultant Papa Massata Diack.
    Former ARAF president Valentin Balakhnichev (Getty Images)

    The men had appealed to CAS, seeking an annulment of the life bans that were handed down by the IAAF on Jan. 7 of last year.

    The bans followed a World Anti-Doping Agency probe that revealed the trio’s role in a doping cover-up in Russian athletics, including extorting money from Russian marathon runner Liliya Shobukhova.

    CAS confirmed on Monday that the charges against the trio “were established beyond reasonable doubt and that the sanctions imposed should be upheld”.

    The IAAF welcomed the CAS ruling in a statement on Monday.

    “I’d like to thank CAS for their hard work and diligence in assessing and upholding the IAAF Ethics Board’s decision,” IAAF President Sebastian Coe said.

    “Today’s ruling sends a clear message that anyone who attempts to corrupt our sport will be brought to justice.”

    Balakhnichev is the former president of the All-Russia Athletic Federation (ARAF) while Melnikov is the former chief ARAF coach for long distance walkers and runners.

    Diack is the son of former IAAF president Lamine Diack, who remains under criminal investigation in France over corruption and money-laundering allegations. He is suspected of pocketing more than $1 million to cover up positive drugs tests.

    Written by Gerard Farek

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