Life bans for three athletics figures over alleged doping cover-up

Former IAAF consultant Papa Massata Diack and Russian officials Valentin Balakhnichev and Alexei Melnikov were last month charged with multiple breaches of anti-doping rules relating to Russian athlete Liliya Shobukhova.

Ex-IAAF anti-doping director Gabriel Dolle has been banned for five years.

IAAF president Lord Coe said the bans “could not send a stronger message”.

Diack and Balakhnichev, a former president of the Russian athletics federation and IAAF treasurer, face fines of £17,000 while Russian coach Melnikov could be fined £10,000.

The independent IAAF ethics commission panel’s 170-page report claims Diack, Balakhnichev and Melnikov conspired to “blackmail” Shobukhova to cover up her doping violations by her paying them “bribes” of about £435,000.

 

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