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MOSCOW, November 18. /TASS/.Valentin Balakhnichev, the former head of the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF), told TASS on Friday he plans to appeal to Switzerland’s Supreme Court regardless of the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
"The session of CAS is over and there will be a decision in two or three weeks, as a rule," Balakhnichev said. "I have no illusions and I cannot make any forecasts," he 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.
In January, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Ethics Committee suspended for life from all athletics activities Balakhnichev, Papa Massata Diack (a son of IAAF’s ex-President Lamine Diack) as well as Alexei Melnikov, ARAF’s National Team coach for long distance running and race walkers.
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.