MOSCOW, August 21. /TASS/. The former president of the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF), Valentin Balakhnichev, believes it is senseless to challenge the decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne to uphold the verdict to suspend him for life from any involvement in the sport of athletics.
"I don’t think it is of any use to challenge it," Balakhnichev told TASS on Monday. "We will think it over with my lawyer Artyom Patsev, but even when we were submitting an appeal to the CAS I was well aware that the decision won’t be in my favor given the geopolitical situation," he said.
On Monday, the CAS upheld the verdict to suspend for life from any involvement in the sport of athletics Valentin Balakhnichev, Alexei Melnikov, former Chief ARAF Coach for long distance walkers and runners, as well as Papa Massata Diack, former marketing consultant to the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) and son of former IAAF President Lamine Diack.
"The IAAF Ethics Commission decision is confirmed and Valentin Balakhnichev, Alexei Melnikov and Papa Massata Diack remain banned for life from any involvement in the sport of athletics," it said in a media release on Monday.
The decision by the CAS can be challenged only in the Swiss federal court, which cannot revoke the decision, but has the right to send the case for re-examination in case facts of violations to rules of procedure are revealed.
In January 2016, the IAAF Ethics Commission 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. He was also accused of taking no measures to bar Shobukhova from participating in the 2012 Olympics in London and the 2012 Chicago Marathon.