Athletics

Former IAAF officials to appeal life bans

IAAF logo (Getty Images)
IAAF logo (Getty Images)

Lausanne - Three athletics officials banned for life by the IAAF for bribery and extortion to cover up a Russian doping case have appealed to sport's highest court.

"All seek to have their life bans from involvement in the sport of track and field annulled," the Court of Arbitration for Sport said in a statement on Monday.

The three who were expelled by the IAAF ethics commission in January are: Papa Massata Diack of Senegal, and Russian officials Valentin Balakhnichev and Alexei Melnikov.

Diack is the son of former IAAF President Lamine Diack and was a marketing consultant for the governing body. He is the subject of an Interpol notice seeking his arrest for questioning in France.

Balakhnichev was the long-time president of the Russian athletics federation and former IAAF treasurer.

Melnikov was head coach of Russian distance runners and race walkers.

They were found guilty of conspiring to extort hundreds of thousands of dollars from Russian marathoner Liliya Shobukhova so she could avoid a doping ban before the 2012 London Olympics.

The IAAF ethics panel published its findings on January 7, and Diack, Balakhnichev, Melnikov all deny wrongdoing.

"All three compounded the vice of what they did by conspiring to extort what were in substance bribes from (Shobukhova) by acts of blackmail," the IAAF panel said. "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."

CAS gave no expected timetable for the cases when it announced that the appeals have been registered.

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