In a statement, the Court of Arbitration for Sport has announced that three athletics officials barred for life by the International Association of Athletics Associations have made an appeal to it to have their life bans from involvement in the sport of track and field annulled.

Papa Massata Diack of Senegal, and Russian officials Valentin Balakhnichev and Alexei Melnikov made the appeals after they were handed lifetime bans for bribery and extortion for covering up a Russian doping case. Diack, a former marketing consultant for the governing body, is the son of ex-IAAF President Lamine Diack and is the subject of an Interpol notice seeking his arrest for questioning by investigative agencies in France. Melnikov was head coach of Russian distance runners and race walkers and Balakhnichev was the long-time president of the Russian athletics federation and a former IAAF treasurer.

The three were found guilty of conspiring to extort hundreds of thousands of dollars from Liliya Shobukhova, the Russian marathoner, so she can avoid a doping ban before the 2012 London Olympics. The ban of 38 months imposed on Liliya ban from track and field was reduced by seven months after the Russian athlete turned whistleblower for the World Anti-Doping Agency. The Russian long-distance runner, who held a former world indoor record in the 3000 m is the current European record holder in the 3000 m and 5000 m, competed in marathon races and served a doping ban until 23 August 2015.

On January 7, the ethics panel of IAAF published its findings and Diack, Balakhnichev, and Melnikov all deny wrongdoing. The IAAF panel had remarked all three compounded the vice of what they did by conspiring to extort what were in substance bribes from Shobukhova by acts of blackmail and added that they acted dishonestly and corruptly and did unprecedented damage to the sport of track and field which, by their actions, they have brought into serious disrepute.

In another development, Senegal PM Mohammed Dionne has remarked it would not extradite Papa Massata Diack, who is accused of blackmailing athletes who failed drug tests, to France. Dionne remarked he would respect agreements with France but would not extradite its citizens. A “Red Notice” has been issued by Interpol for the arrest of Papa Massata Diack who is accused by prosecutors from France of being part of an alleged “system of corruption”. According to the Red Notice, Massata is required in France on charges of complicity in receiving bribes, aggravated money-laundering, and conspiracy in an organized group to invest, conceal or convert the proceeds of active corruption.

Many believe that Papa Massata is in Senegal where he recently gave an interview. In the interview, he remarked he would answer questions from the French investigators if they travelled to Dakar.

Lamine Diack is in France and is not allowed the leave the country. Lamine is presently being investigated over allegations that the former IAAF chief took payments over deferring sanctions against drug cheats from Russia while he was President of the world governing body of athletics.

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