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MOSCOW, November 22. /TASS/. Former President of the All-Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF) Valentin Balakhnichev has urged the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to show an unbiased approach when it rules on his lawsuit against the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).
In mid-November, the CAS examined Balakhnichev’s lawsuit against the IAAF’s decision to bar him from any athletics-related activities for life.
"I believe that I had to move further and defend my reputation. I’m very displeased that the UK jurisprudence is used for examining my case. I hope that in this case the CAS’s decision will be impartial. If not, we’ll turn to the Supreme Court of Switzerland," Balakhnichev said.
On January 7, the IAAF Ethics Committee suspended Balakhnichev and former senior coach of Russia’s national athletics team Alexei Melnikov from all athletics activities for life. The Ethics Committee found Balakhnichev guilty of entering into conspiracy with Melnikov and other persons to decide against opening doping abuse proceedings against Russian athlete Lilia Shobukhova, if she paid money for their silence. Balakhnichev also did not report to the IAAF that Shobukhova had transferred money to Melnikov to continue her performance at athletics competitions. He was also accused of taking no measures to bar Shobukhova from participating in the 2012 Olympics in London and the 2012 Chicago Marathon.
The former ARAF president has denied his guilt and does not consider the proofs provided by the IAAF Committee to be material. He considers the Committee’s decision to be politically motivated.
Balakhnichev headed the ARAF from 1991. In 2015, he left his post over numerous doping scandals linked with Russian athletes.