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Court Upholds Life Bans On Two Russian Athletics Officials In Doping Scandal


Former Russian athletics federation head Valentin Balakhnichev said he thought the court's decision was unfair but he doesn't think he will appeal it.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport has upheld life bans on two former top Russian athletics officials for their parts in a doping scandal.

The court dismissed an appeal by former world athletics body treasurer Valentin Balakhnichev and confirmed the life ban of coach Aleksei Melnikov, who led Russia's long-distance-running program.

The court said the evidence against them was "established beyond reasonable doubt."

The life bans were imposed in January 2016 for an alleged conspiracy to extort money from Russian runner Lilia Shobukhova, a former winner of the Boston, Chicago, and London marathons who later turned whistle-blower.

Shobukhova allegedly paid 450,000 euros ($500,000) to Russian officials who threatened her with a ban for doping before the 2012 London Olympics.

The International Association of Athletics Federation said the two Russians, working with the son of the association's former president, Lamine Diack, "acted dishonestly and corruptly and did unprecedented damage to the sport of track and field."

Balakhnichev told TASS he thought the court's decision was unfair but he doesn't think he will appeal it.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, and TASS
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