Papa Massata Diack, pictured, will remain banned for life from any involvement in athletics along with Valentin Balakhnichev and Alexei Melnikov ©Getty Images

Papa Massata Diack, Valentin Balakhnichev and Alexei Melnikov will all remain banned for life from any involvement in athletics after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) dismissed their appeals against the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) Ethics Commission's decision from January of last year.

All three filed appeals at CAS seeking the annulment of their life bans, imposed by the IAAF Ethics Commission which concluded that figures within the sport had been "guilty of blackmail" since 2011.

Diack was a marketing consultant to the IAAF and is the son of former IAAF President Lamine Diack.

Balakhnichev is the former President of the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) and was IAAF treasurer until 2015.

Alexei Melnikov is the former chief RusAF coach for long distance walkers and runners.

The appeals were consolidated and referred to the same panel of CAS arbitrators who concluded that on the evidence adduced, the charges against Diack, Balakhnichev and Melnikov were established beyond reasonable doubt and that the sanctions imposed should be upheld.

"The full award with grounds will be published as soon as possible," a CAS statement added. 

Former IAAF anti-doping director Gabriel Dollé received a five-year ban following the world governing body's Ethics Commission's decision.

The quartet were charged in relation to payments totalling approximately £435,000 ($562,000/€475,000) made by Russia's Liliya Shobukhova, the 2010 London Marathon winner and a three-time Chicago Marathon champion, in order to cover-up doping violations. 

The RusAF had knowledge of Shobukhova's suspicious biological passport readings in 2011 but "abnormalities" were not announced until three years later, the IAAF Ethics Commission reported. 

Among events she is alleged to have competed at after suspicions were first raised and payments were taken was the 2012 Olympic Games in London, where she failed to finish the marathon. 

The IAAF has welcomed CAS's ruling to dismiss the three appeals. 

"I’d like to thank CAS for their hard work and diligence in assessing and upholding the IAAF Ethics Board’s decision," its President Sebastian Coe said.

"Today’s ruling sends a clear message that anyone who attempts to corrupt our sport will be brought to justice."

Former Russian Athletics Federation President and IAAF treasurer Valentin Balakhnichev had warned he would appeal to the Swiss Supreme Court if CAS failed to lift a life ban from the sport ©Getty Images
Former Russian Athletics Federation President and IAAF treasurer Valentin Balakhnichev had warned he would appeal to the Swiss Supreme Court if CAS failed to lift a life ban from the sport ©Getty Images

Coe's predecessor Lamine Diack is currently at the centre of a French investigation exploring allegations that he was at the centre of the cabal of IAAF officials accepting bribes in return for the covering up of Russian doping cases.

An international arrest warrant remains in place for his son Papa Massata, who is believed to be in his native Senegal. 

In November, Balakhnichev vowed to launch an appeal to the Swiss Supreme Court if CAS ruled against him.

CAS heard the respective appeals of the three officials, who all deny any wrongdoing, earlier that same month.

Last week, it was confirmed that IAAF Council member Frank Fredericks will remain provisionally suspended after he failed with his appeal to overturn his ban.

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) confirmed an enlarged panel of the IAAF Disciplinary Tribunal had upheld last month's decision of its chairman, Michael Beloff, to provisionally suspend the Namibian.

The investigation into Fredericks, a four-time Olympic silver medallist in the 100 and 200 metres, relates to payments received by Fredericks' company, Yemi Limited, from a company owned and controlled by Papa Massata Diack.

This was prior to Rio de Janeiro being awarded the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics in October 2009, which International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Fredericks voted on. 

The 49-year-old has denied any wrongdoing.

Documents provided by American tax authorities showed how Papa Massata Diack transferred $300,000 (£233,000/€254,000) to a Seychelles-based offshore company called Yemli Limited in 2009 through Pamodzi Consulting.

Yemli Limited is linked to Fredericks, who referred himself to the IOC Ethics Commission when the accusations surfaced on March 3.

Fredericks claimed the payment was legitimate and related to his role in the promotion of several athletics events when he confirmed his intention for appeal the provisional suspension.