Balakhnichev is banned for life.
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Two top Russian athletics officials and the son of former world governing body President Lamine Diack were banned from the sport for life Thursday for covering up an elite Russian athlete's positive dope test and continuously blackmailing her over it.The bans follow last year's World Anti-Doping Agency independent commission report that found a state-sponsored culture of doping in Russia and prompted Moscow's suspension from the sport. Valentin Balakhnichev, the former head of the Russian athletics federation, the country's former head distance coach Aleksey Melnikov, and Papa Massata Diack, a former marketing consultant to the International Association of Athletics Federations, were all handed life bans by the IAAF Ethics Commission.The IAAF' scandal, which officials accept could extend to other countries, coincides with a corruption scandal shaking world football governing body FIFA that has resulted in bans and arrests around the world.Balakhnichev and Diack were also fined $25,000 and Melnikov $15,000 .
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