We learned that now former president Lamine Diack was facing tougher charges in the IAAF scandal in late December, just before Christmas. Today, Diack’s son and two Russian officials were banned from track and field for life on Thursday, the IAAF Ethics Commission announced.
Per the Associated Press, the investigation into Papa Massata Diack, Lamine’s son, along with Russian officials Valentin Balakhnichev and Alexei Melnikov involved blackmail, extortion, and doping cover-ups.
Former doping chief Gabrielle Dolle was also implicated, but his ban was limited to five years.
Diack’s son worked as an IAAF marketing consusltant, while Balakhnichev was an honorary treasurer of the IAAF. Melnikov is the former head coach of Russia’s race-walking and long-distance running programs.
The case involved Liliya Shobukhova, a Russian marathon runner who paid $520,000 to have positive dope tests covered up. After the cover up was unsuccessful and she received a two-year ban, her husband received a $345,000 refund from Balakhnichev.
From the AP:
In a statement, the IAAF said it was “angered” that the officials sanctioned by the ethics panel “conspired to extort what were in substance bribes from the athlete by acts of blackmail.”
“The IAAF has already introduced corrective measures to make sure this sort of interference can’t happen again,” it said, adding that the four banned officials are “no longer associated with the IAAF in any capacity.”
“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,” IAAF President Sebastian Coe said.
The World Anti-Doping Agency is expected to deliver the second part of a report into allegations of doping in track and field that is apparently vast. The allegations are made by British and German media outlets of blood doping.
The AP says an IAAF task force will visit Russia Sunday and Monday to inspect the country’s response to the scandal.