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IAAF ex-president's son handed life ban from athletics over doping cover-up

IAAF ex-president's son handed life ban from athletics over doping cover-up


Papa Massata Diack, son of former IAAF boss Lamine Diack, has been handed a life ban from athletics. Diack has been banned along with former president of the Russian athletics federation, Valentin Balakhnichev and IAAF treasurer Alexei Melnikov.

The trio was found to have committed multiple breaches of anti-doping rules and had been involved in the attempted cover up of positive drugs tests.

The IAAF Ethics Commission made the announcement on Thursday, also banning the organisation’s former doping chief Gabrielle Dolle for five years.

The bans follow a damning World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) report that exposed a state-sponsored culture of doping in Russia.

The report raised doubts whether world athletics power Russia would be able to participate in Rio Olympics later this year.

Most of the charges involved Russian former London marathon winner Liliya Shobukhova, who paid $600,000 to have positive dope tests covered up. She provided evidence to WADA last year that led to Russia being suspended from athletics.

Balakhnichev and Diack were also fined 25,000 dollars and Melnikov 15,000.

Russia’s R-Sport agency reported that Balakhnichev had described the ban as “politicised” saying he intends to appeal.

The hearings have taken place against a background of investigations by the French police and Interpol into the affair and other corruption claims involving IAAF officials but the Commission said there had been no requests for an adjournment because of those investigations.

Next Thursday (January 14), WADA’s independent commission is to release the second part of its investigation into doping and corruption and is expected to further criticize the IAAF’s role, having held back the release pending the police investigation.