News 2nd February 2016

Analysis: The IAAF trio filing CAS appeals

Three officials banned for life by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) on 7 January today filed appeals with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS – pictured). We take a brief look at those officials and the allegations levelled against them.

Valentin Balakhnichev

Balakhnichev was President of the Russian athletics federation (ARAF) from 1991 until February 2015. A former hurdler, he has also held positions at the Russian Council for Physical Culture and Sport and the Russian Olympic Committee. In 1997, he joined the IAAF Marketing & Promotion Commission, moving onto the IAAF Council in 2007 in the position of IAAF Treasurer, until he voluntarily stood aside in December 2014.

• Former IAAF General Secretary, Pierre Weiss, wrote to Balakhnichev in 2009 to warn him about IAAF concerns over suspicious blood values recorded in Russian athletes.

Alleged to have agreed a deal with former IAAF President Lamine Diack and his adviser, Habib Cissé, to delay the handling of Russian doping cases to not jeopardise a sponsorship deal for the 2013 IAAF Moscow World Championships.

Alleged to have been given a list of 23 Russian athletes with suspicious blood values ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Alleged to have ‘subverted’ the anti-doping regime by extorting money from athletes to conceal anti-doping rule violations. This included alleged involvement with blackmailing Liliya Shobukhova into paying €450,000 in order to allow her to compete at the London 2012 Olympics.

Accused of collaborating with Alexei Melnikov to give the same evidence to the Independent Commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), by using ‘all but identical language’.

• Is mentioned by the WADA Independent Commission as being at a Moscow meeting, after which a US$25 million sponsorship deal was agreed for the 2013 Moscow IAAF World Championships.

• Alleged to have come to a 2011 arrangement with Papa Massata Diack to provide financial support for a 2012 Senegalese election campaign.

Alexei Melnikov

Former Russian athletics federation (ARAF) head coach and senior endurance coach.

Alleged to have ‘subverted’ the anti-doping regime by extorting money from athletes to conceal anti-doping rule violations. This included alleged involvement with blackmailing Liliya Shobukhova into paying €450,000 in order to allow her to compete at the London 2012 Olympics.

Alleged to have agreed a deal with former IAAF President Lamine Diack and his adviser, Habib Cissé, to delay the handling of Russian doping cases to not jeopardise a sponsorship deal for the 2013 IAAF Moscow World Championships.

Alleged to have been involved in attempting to coerce Liliya Shobukhova’s to sign an ‘acceptance of sanction’ form. Her signature on the form was later found to be fake.

Accused of collaborating with Valentin Balakhnichev to give the same evidence to the WADA Independent Commission, by using ‘all but identical language’.

Papa Massata Diack

Son of former IAAF President Lamine Diack, Papa Diack acted as a marketing consultant for the IAAF. Senegal has refused to extradite him, despite Interpol issuing a ‘red notice’ listing him as wanted person.

• Has been under IAAF investigation since April 2014 due to various allegations, including requesting US$5 million during Doha’s failed bid to host the 2017 IAAF World Championships.

• Is mentioned by the WADA Independent Commission as arranging a US$25 million sponsorship deal for the 2013 Moscow IAAF World Championships. The Independent Commission alleged that this sponsorship deal may have been connected to the delay in announcing Russian doping positives.

• Received a ‘secret’ email from Nick Davies, then IAAF Director of Communications, in which it is suggested that the IAAF delay announcing Russian doping positives until after the 2013 Moscow IAAF World Championships. Davies later steps aside.

Accused of arranging repayment of €300,000 of the €450,000 paid by Liliya Shobukhova through a company called ‘Black Tidings’ by the IAAF Ethics Commission.

Alleged to have come to a 2011 arrangement for Balakhnichev to provide financial support for a 2012 Senegalese election campaign.

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