Paris issues arrest warrant for RusAthletics ex-head
French authorities believe that Valentin Balakhnichev participated in the corruption scheme.
The French court issued international arrest warrants for former head of the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAthletics) Valentin Balakhnichev and former senior track and field coach of the Russian national athletics team Alexey Melnikov, Interfax cites LÉquipe.
French authorities believe that Balakhnichev and Melnikov were involved in a corruption scheme designed to conceal cases of doping in Russia. The investigation is conducted at the request of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
As noted by TASS, Paris has not yet sent a request for the detention and possible extradition of Balakhnichev and Melnikov to Moscow.
“At present, no requests from the French authorities have been received. The French authorities did not notify the Russian side of the arrest warrant for Balakhnichev and Melnikov,” an insider told the agency.
LÉquipe recalls that in January 2016, the International Association of Athletics Federations Ethics Board (IAAF) decided to remove Balakhnichev and Melnikov from athletics for life. In August 2017, this decision was approved by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
IAAF ex-marketing consultant Papa Massata Diack is also accused. All three, according to investigators, have agreed not to punish Russian athlete Lilia Shobukhova if she pays for silence. Also, Diack did not take action to prevent the athlete from participating in the 2012 Olympics in London and the 2012 Chicago Marathon.
The Prosecutor General's Office had earlier accused the Moscow region’s ex-official of exceeding official authority, taking a bribe on an especially large scale, and forgery, and demanded to seize assets worth of 9 billion rubles ($135 million) from him.