CAS dismisses Diack's appeal against life ban

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The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has dismissed appeals from Papa Massata Diack, Valentin Balakhnichev and Alexei Melnikov against their life bans from athletics after an alleged doping cover-up.

After being found to have breached the governing body's code of ethics, former IAAF marketing consultant Diack was banned for life in January 2016.

The son of ex-IAAF president Lamine Diack, he was charged after disciplinary hearings over his alleged involvement in a cover-up relating to 2010 London Marathon winner Liliya Shobukhova.

Former IAAF treasurer Balakhnichev, the ex-president of the All-Russia Athletic Federation (ARAF), and Melnikov, the former top ARAF coach for long-distance walkers and runners, appealed against the decision along with Diack.

But on Monday, CAS announced the trio will remain "banned for life from any involvement in the sport of athletics", a decision that has been welcomed by the IAAF.

"I'd like to thank CAS for their hard work and diligence in assessing and upholding the IAAF Ethics Board's decision," IAAF president Sebastian Coe said.

"Today's ruling sends a clear message that anyone who attempts to corrupt our sport will be brought to justice.”

CAS said the full findings of its panel's findings on the appeals from Diack, Balakhnichev and Melnikov will be published as soon as possible.

"The panel concluded that on the evidence adduced, the charges were established beyond reasonable doubt and that the sanctions imposed should be upheld," a CAS statement read.