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Appeal Filed by Officials Banned for Life by IAAF

Saturday, February, 13, 2016


The three officials banned for life by the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) after they were accused of blackmailing athletes and covering up positive drug tests recently filed an appeal against the sanctions they face. The appeal was filed with the court of arbitration for sport.


The three men: Papa Massata Diack, a marketing consultant for IAAF, Valentin Balakhnichev, a former Russian athletics federal president and IAAF treasurers, and Alexei Melnikov, a senior Araf coach, were all given lifetime bans in January after the IAAF’s ethics commission determined the men had blackmailed Russian runner Liliya Shobukhova and forced her to pay a bribe to cover up a positive drug test. The runner was a winner in the 2010 London marathon.


In addition to the ban, French police issued an international wanted notice via Interpol for Diack over corruption allegations. Diack’s father, also associated with the IAAF, is also the subject of corruption investigation regarding receiving money to cover up positive drug test results.

The three banned men filed their appeals at the court of arbitration for sport against the IAAF ethics commission. All three men want their lifetime bans annulled. Arbitration procedures have begun in the appeal, but the ethics committee will not comment with any additional details until the proceedings are complete. This is not the first time international sports have faced accusations of corruption. Several soccer officials have been accused of breaking ethics rules and there are ongoing concerns about Olympics officials and athletes committing corrupt acts.