Not a good week for Athletics or Football

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© SNappa2006 Wikimedia
Liliya Shobukhova.

THREE senior officials in world athletics have been banned for life from any further involvement in the athletics movement following the release of a 170 page report on January 7 by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

Former IAAF consultant Papa Massata Diack (son of the previous president  of the IAAF who himself is being investigated for corruption) and Russian officials Valentin Balakhnichev and Alexei Melnikov were found guilty of a number of breaches of anti-doping rules connected to Liliya Shobukhova, a Russian Athlete whilst ex-IAAF anti-doping director Gabriel Dolle has been banned for five years.

According to the report, the three officials discovered that the Marathon runner had been taking drugs to enhance her performance and blackmailed her in order to ensure that no adverse report would be published before the London Olympics in 2012. It is alleged that she paid them a total of £450,000 (€605,000) although part of this was reportedly repaid when she was finally publicly accused of taking these drugs.

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She was originally banned for 38 months but this was reduced 31 months after she testified to the World Anti-Doping Agency(WADA) about the use of drugs within Russian athletics.

Both Papa Massata Diack who is currently in Senegal and Gabriel Dolle are being investigated by French police, and there is a second report due from WADA in around one week’s time which may cause further embarrassment to both Russian athletics, who may not be allowed to compete in the years Olympic Games, and the IAAF.

On the same day, Michel Platini the suspended UEFA president confirmed that although he is appealing against his suspension by FIFA,he will not stand in the presidential election due to take place on February 26.

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