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IAAF Ethics Commission delivers life bans to three top officials
The son of the former president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the head of the All-Russia Athletic Federation and the team’s senior coach have been banned from athletics for life for inflicting “unprecedented damage” on the sport.
The bans follow a 20-month investigation into corruption, blackmail and extortion at the highest levels undertaken by an independent ethics commission acting on behalf of the sport.
Banned for life were the former IAAF marketing consultant Papa Massata Diack, the son of the former longstanding President Lamine DIack; the former Russia athletic federation head and IAAF Treasurer, Valentin Balakhnichev, and Alexei Melnikov, the former head coach of Russia’s race-walking and long-distance running programs.
The trio were banned for allegedly conspiring in doping cover-ups.
Chaired by Michael Beloff QC, the commission also banned Gabriel Dollé, the former head of the IAAF’s anti-doping unit, for five years following the release of a damning 170-page report that will put pressure on the IAAF President, Sebastian Coe, and other senior executives.
The commission released its deliberations after the four IAAF officials appeared in a hearing held in London last month.
A statement from the commission explained “the Panel considers in the light of its findings that VB (Balakhnichev), AM (Melnikov) and PMD (Diack) should be banned for life from any further involvement in any way in the sport of track and field; any lesser sanction would not meet the gravity of their offences.”
The statement describes the officials' alleged breaches and reveals a line of actions that “need no hyperbolic exaggeration”.
In a response to the decision, Coe, who has sent out a ‘road-map’ for reforming the IAAF, applauded the work of the ethics commission.
Coe stated “I’d like to thank the independent IAAF Ethics Board for their diligent and detailed investigation. The life bans announced today could not send a stronger message that those who attempt to corrupt or subvert the sport of athletics will be brought to justice.
“We continue to work with the French authorities’ investigation and the WADA’s Independent Commission.”
The second report from WADA’s Independent Commission set up to investigate the validity of allegations made by ARD’s documentaries is due on 14th January.
9th November 2015 - LAMINE DIACK’S ALLEGED DOPING COVER-UP AT IAAF ‘ABHORRENT’
6th November 2015 - FORMER IAAF PRESIDENT LAMINE DIACK INVESTIGATED IN CORRUPTION INQUIRY
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