Former All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF) President Valentin Balakhnichev has vowed to launch an appeal to the Swiss Supreme Court if the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) rules against him after he was banned from the sport for life earlier this year.
Balakhnichev, the former International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) treasurer, told news agency TASS that he had been through “hell” since he was exiled from athletics by the IAAF Ethics Commission in January for alleged blackmail.
Papa Massata Diack, the son of former IAAF President Lamine, was also banned for life along with long-distance running and race-walking coach Alexei Melnikov.
An IAAF panel ruled in January that the trio had been “guilty of blackmail” since 2011.
They are accused of being at the centre of a cabal of IAAF officials who accepted bribes in return for the covering up of failed drugs tests.
It is alleged that they received payments of £435,000 ($634,000/€583,000) from Russian marathon runner Liliya Shobukhova.
The CAS (picture under) the respective appeals of the three officials, who all deny any wrongdoing, on Wednesday (November 16) and yesterday.
Balakhnichev said he is expecting the CAS to make a decision on his case in “two or three weeks”.
“The session of CAS is over and there will be a decision in two or three weeks, as a rule,” Balakhnichev, previously the national athletics coach of the Soviet Union from 1978 to 1984, told TASS.
“In case 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.”
Balakhnichev also believes Russia should be “prepared for the worst” when the second part of the McLaren Report into alleged state-sponsored doping in the country is published next month.
Richard McLaren is examining allegations that Russia operated a state-run system in which tainted doping samples were illegally replaced by clean ones at events including their home 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.
It is possible that athletics competitions, including the 2013 World Championships in Moscow, could also have been affected.
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