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IAAF issues lifetime bans to three senior officials over 'doping cover-ups'

The IAAF issues lifetime bans to three senior officials over allegations of doping cover-ups.

The IAAF's ethics commission has imposed lifetime bans on three senior officials, while the world athletics governing body's former anti-doping director Gabriel Dolle has been banned for five years.

Papa Massata Diack, who is the son of former IAAF president Lamine Diack, is one of the officials to have been banned for life following his role as a consultant for the organisation.

Former Russian Athletics Federation president and IAAF treasurer Valentin Balakhnichev has suffered the same fate, alongside the Russian Federation's former chief coach for long-distance athletes Alexei Melnikov.

The sanctions were chosen by the ethics commission following last month's three-day hearing in London over allegations that senior officials accepted bribes to cover up failed drug tests.

A statement from the commission read: "The panel considers in the light of its findings that VB (Balakhnichev), AM (Melnikov) and PMD (Massata Diack) should be banned for life from any further involvement in any way in the sport of track and field - any lesser sanction would not meet the gravity of their offences.

"In GD (Dolle)'s case such ban is also appropriate but in his case for five years only. His sins were those of omission, not commission. The Panel hereby imposes these bans with effect from the date of this decision."

Balakhnichev and Diack are also facing fines of $25,000 (£17,000), while Melnikov could be ordered to pay $15,000 (£10,000).

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Runners make their way through Canary Wharf during the Virgin Money London Marathon on April 26, 2015
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