Alleged doping cover-up: Athletics officials have life bans upheld by Cas

Papa Massata Diack in Dakar on February 8, 2015
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 2015 with multiple breaches of anti-doping rules relating to Russia's Liliya Shobukhova.

Cas is yet to publish its grounds for upholding the sanctions.

On Monday Cas 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."

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said it "welcomed" the Cas ruling and IAAF president Lord Coe added: "The ruling sends a clear message that anyone who attempts to corrupt our sport will be brought to justice."

In a 170-page report, the independent IAAF ethics commission panel said 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, a former IAAF marketing consultant, told the BBC he "totally rejects" the blackmail allegations, saying: "There was no extortion of funds from any athlete."

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