Valentin Balakhnichev has pledged to fight allegations against him ©Getty Images

Valentin Balakhnichev, former President of the All-Russia Athletic Federation (ARAF) who was banned for life from the sport amid the country's doping scandal, has pledged to "fight" the allegations against him.

The former coach of the Soviet Union team and IAAF treasurer was one of four people charged in relation to payments of £435,000 ($634,000/€583,000) made by Russian marathon runner Liliya Shobukhova in order to cover-up positive drugs tests. 

Papa Massata Diack, the son of former International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) President Lamine Diack, was another who was banned for life by the governing body for the supposed blackmail plot, along with former long distance running and race-walking coach Alexei Melnikov.

Former IAAF anti-doping director Gabriel Dollé was banned for five years.

Russia has been rocked by allegations that officials received cash in order to hide doping offences since the the World Anti-Doping Agency Independent Commission released the first of its two damning reports in Geneva in November.

Balakhnichev had previously indicated that the likelihood of him appealing his ban could depend on whether Russia's athletes appear at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro this summer, with the country's participation in severe doubt following their suspension by the IAAF.

Valentin Balakhnichev denies all of allegations of wrongdoing involving marathon runner Liliya Shobukhova
Valentin Balakhnichev denies all allegations of wrongdoing involving marathon runner Liliya Shobukhova, a three-time Chicago Marathon champion ©Getty Images

The new comments to emerge expressed defiance and suggest that the 66-year-old, who vehemently denies the charges against him, could contest his suspension.

"I'm going to fight it," he told CBC News.

"I'm not afraid of anything.

"There are a lot of words but no proof that I got money or sent money or took money from athletes.

"Where's the proof?"

Balakhnichev added that suggestions that the scandal in Russia reached as high as President Vladimir Putin were "unfair" as nobody had made similar claims in the United States when the now disgraced Lance Armstrong and Marion Jones were implicated in their own doping controversies.

"It's totally, totally unfair," he said.

The ARAF has now appointed Dmitry Shlyakhtin as its new President after Balakhnichev stood down in February, following the first emergence of the allegations via German broadcaster ARD.

An IAAF Task Force is currently charged with overseeing Rusisa's reinstatement to the fold, but no time-frame has been set.