Ex-Russian athletics chief may go to top Swiss court despite CAS ruling

Moscow, Nov 18 (IANS) Former head of the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF) the suspended Valentin Balakhnichev said on Friday he plans to appeal to Switzerlands Supreme Court regardless of the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

In January, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Ethics Committee suspended Balakhnichev for life from all athletics activities, reports Tass.

IAAF also suspended Papa Massata Diack (son of IAAF’s ex-president Lamine Diack) as well as Alexei Melnikov, Russia’s national team coach for long distance running and race walkers.

“The session of CAS is over and there will be a decision in two or three weeks, as a rule. I have no illusions and I cannot make any forecasts,” Balakhnichev said.

“In case if CAS does not sustain my appeal I will go to the Supreme Court of Switzerland. I don’t consider that I’m guilty but regardless of the decision I have to go through all this hell,” he stressed.

The ethics committee found Balakhnichev guilty of entering a conspiracy with Diack and Melnikov against opening proceedings on doping-abuse charges in regard to Russian athlete Lilia Shobukhova.

The later allegedly transferred money to the officials at the issue to avoid suspension after caught using performance enhancing drugs.

Balakhnichev held the post of the president of ARAF since 1991 and he resigned in 2015 following a chain of high-profile doping scandals involving Russian track and field athletes.

–IANS

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