Former All-Russia Athletic Federation (ARAF) President Valentin Balakhnichev is appealing his life ban from athletics to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, his lawyer has confirmed today.
Balakhnichev, also the former treasurer of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), was handed a life ban from the sport earlier this month for being part of a blackmail plot involving the covering up of Russian doping failures.
Papa Massata Diack, the consultant and son of former IAAF President Lamine Diack, was also banned by the IAAF Ethics Commission on January 7, along with long distance running and race-walking coach Alexei Melnikov.
Former IAAF anti-doping director Gabriel Dollé was also handed a five-year suspension.
The quartet were being charged in relation to payments totalling approximately £435,000 ($634,000/€583,000) made by Russia's Liliya Shobukhova, the 2010 London Marathon winner and three-time Chicago Marathon champion, in order to cover-up doping violations.
But, despite having given evidence to the Ethics Commission, Balakhnichev vehemently denies the charges and claims they were politically motivated.
"The appeal has been filed today," his lawyer Artyom Patsev told the TASS news agency.
"Only God knows how long it will be examined."
Balakhnichev, previously the Soviet national athletics coach from 1978 to 1984, has repeatedly insisted there is no proof to back up his claims.
"I'm going to fight it," he told CBC News last week.
"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?"
Confirmation that he has gone ahead with this appeal comes despite the apparent reluctance of Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko,
He told R-Sport soon after the verdict that the decision had been "expected" and there was "no sense" in an appeal.
The ARAF has now appointed Dmitry Shlyakhtin as its new President following Balakhnichev standing down in February after allegations first emerged in an ARD documentary.