Papa Massata Diack, Valentin Balakhnichev and Alexei Melnikov have filed appeals at the Court of Arbitration for Sport
Three senior athletics officials who were handed life bans by the IAAF Ethics Commission have filed appeals to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against their sanctions.
Papa Massata Diack, the former marketing consultant to the IAAF and son of ex-IAAF president Lamine Diack, plus former president of the All-Russia Athletic Federation (ARAF) and honorary treasurer of the IAAF Valentin Balakhnichev and former senior ARAF coach Alexei Melnikov were all issued bans for their part in the alleged cover-up of Russian athlete Liliya Shobukhova’s positive drugs tests identified by her Athlete Biological Passport data, while former IAAF anti-doping head Gabriel Dollé was handed a five-year ban for his involvement.
Since the bans were announced on January 7, French police have also issued an international arrest warrant via Interpol for Diack Jr. He is currently in his home country of Senegal, and the prime minister Mohammed Dionne stated that the wanted man would not be extradited.
A CAS statement read: “Three appeals have been filed at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) Ethics Commission decision dated 7 January 2016.
“Valentin Balakhnichev, former president of the All-Russia Athletic Federation (ARAF), Alexei Melnikov, former chief ARAF coach for long distance walkers and runners, and Papa Massata Diack, former marketing consultant to the IAAF, all seek to have their life bans from involvement in the sport of track and field annulled.
“CAS arbitration procedures are in progress. The CAS will not comment any further at this time.”
When announcing the trio’s bans last month, the IAAF Ethics Commission had said: “The quality of the breaches determined as proven by the Panel need no hyperbolic exaggeration; they speak for themselves.
“All three compounded the vice of what they did by conspiring to extort what were in substance bribes from LS (Shobukhova) by acts of blackmail.
“They acted dishonestly and corruptly and did unprecedented damage to the sport of track and field which, by their actions, they have brought into serious disrepute.”