CAS upholds life bans of three officials

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Papa Massata Diack is a former consultant to the International Association of Athletics Federations

Three athletics officials have had their life bans over an alleged doping cover-up upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Papa Massata Diack, son of ex-IAAF president Lamine Diack, and Russians Valentin Balakhnichev and Alexei Melnikov had their appeals dismissed.

They were charged in December with multiple breaches of anti-doping rules relating to Russia’s Liliya Shobukhova.

Cas are yet to publish the grounds for upholding the sanctions.

A statement released on Monday said: “The panel concluded that on the evidence adduced, the charges were established beyond reasonable doubt and that the sanctions imposed should be upheld.

“The full award with grounds will be published as soon as possible.”

In a 170-page report, the independent International Association of Athletics Federations ethics commission panel ruled Diack, Balakhnichev and Melnikov conspired to “blackmail” Shobukhova to cover up her doping violations by her paying them “bribes” of about £435,000.

Diack and Balakhnichev, a former president of the Russian athletics federation and IAAF treasurer, were fined £17,000 while Russian coach Melnikov was fined £10,000.

In December, Diack told the BBC he “totally rejects” the blackmail allegations, saying: “There was no extortion of funds from any athlete.”


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