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Sep 16, 2020
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The Paris court gave the ex-head of Russian athletics three years in prison

The ex-head of the All-Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF) Valentin Balakhnichev was sentenced in absentia by a Paris court to three years in prison for hiding positive doping tests of Russian athletes, TASS reports.

The decision was made in the framework of the corruption case in the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

RIA Novosti also reports that the court found ex-coach of the Russian national team in long-distance running Alexei Melnikov guilty of passive corruption. Like Balakhnichev, he is on the international wanted list. He was sentenced in absentia to imprisonment for a term of two years.

According to RBC, Balakhnichev told the publication about his disagreement with the court decision, which he was going to appeal to higher authorities.

“Now I plan to look at this decision and make two appeals: to the French Supreme Court that I was banned and not given the opportunity to defend my interests. And second, I can go to a human rights court, ”said the Russian.

He headed the ARAF from 1990-2015. In early 2016, the IAAF ethics committee suspended him for life. Previously, he was also the treasurer of the organization.

Balakhnichev appealed the IAAF's decision. In 2017, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) upheld his life-long suspension.

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