France issues arrest warrants for two Russians involved in a doping scandal

French authorities have issued arrest warrants for two former athletes of the All-Russia Athletic Federation involved in a doping scandal, BBC reported.

In particular, arrest warrants were issued for the former head of Russian althletics Valentin Balakhnichev and the former coach of the Russian national team Alexey Melnikov.

Balakhnichev has already told the media that he is in Russia and there are no grounds for a warrant for his arrest.

In 2015, both Balakhnichev and Melnikov were banned from athletics for life after the widespread, state-sponsored Russian doping was uncovered.

The investigation of the doping scandal started in November 2015, when the former head of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Senegalese businessman Lamine Diack was accused of receiving millions of dollars to conceal doping use by Russian athletes. In 2017, a warrant was issued for his son, Papa Massata Diack. The investigation is French-led as funds, according to detectives, were laundered in France.

  Russia, France, International Association of Athletics Federations