Athletics: CAS upholds life ban on former top officials for doping
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[August 22, 2017]
ZURICH (Reuters) - Sports
highest tribunal has upheld life bans on two top Russian athletics
officials and the son of former world governing body president
Lamine Diack for covering up an elite Russian athlete's positive
dope test and blackmailing her over it.
Valentin Balakhnichev, the former head of the Russian athletics
federation, and Alexei Melnikov, the country's former head distance
coach, were banned by the IAAF (International Association of
Athletics Federations) ethics commission in January last year.
Papa Massata Diack, a former marketing consultant to the IAAF, was
also banned. All three denied any wrongdoing and subsequently
appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
"The IAAF Ethics Commission decision is confirmed and Valentin
Balakhnichev, Alexei Melnikov and Papa Massata Diack remain banned
for life from any involvement in the sport of athletics," said CAS
in announcing its verdict on Monday.
"The panel concluded that on the evidence adduced, the charges
established against Messers Balakhnichev, Melnikov and Diack were
established beyond reasonable doubt and the sanctions imposed should
It said it would give a full reasoned decision at a later date.
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International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) President
Lamine Diack (C) holds hands with Valentin Balakhnichev (R),
President of the All-Russia Athletic Federation, and Valery
Vinogradov, Deputy Mayor of Moscow, in Kenya's coastal town of
Mombasa March 27, 2007, REUTERS/Joseph Okanga
The bans followed the previous year's World
Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) independent commission report that found a
state-sponsored culture of doping in Russia and prompted the
country's suspension from the sport.
The sanctions related primarily to the case of Russian former London
marathon winner Liliya Shobukhova, who paid $600,000 to have
positive dope tests covered up.
Russia remains banned from athletics although its athletes can apply
to compete as neutrals if they meet stringent criteria set by the
IAAF. Nineteen Russian athletes competed as neutrals at this month's
World Championships in London.
(Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Christian Radnedge)
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