Gabriel Dolle
Gabriel Dolle has been banned by the IAAF.Getty Images

The IAAF's ethics commission has banned four senior officials who are alleged to have covered up doping offences.

The sport's governing body has handed life bans to Papa Massata Diack, who worked as a consultant for the organisation and is the son of former president Lamine Diack, former Russian federation president Valentin Balakhnichev, and the Russian federation's former chief coach for long-distance runners Alexei Melnikov.

Meanwhile, former IAAF anti-doping director Gabriel Dolle has been handed a five-year ban. The verdicts were reached after the governing body held a three-day hearing in London in December 2015.

A statement from the IAAF said, according to The Guardian: "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."

The IAAF also confirmed Balakhnichev and Diack have been handed fines of $25,000 (£17,000), while Melnikov has been slapped with a $15,000 fine (£10,000). However, all four men have the right to appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The charges relate to the Russian runner Liliya Shobukhova, who won the London Marathon in 2010 but became a whistleblower for the World Anti-Doping Agency earlier this year. The case centres on the money Shobukhova, 38, claims to have been paid to have her doping violations covered up. Shobukhova alleges she paid the governing body more than $600,000 (£411,000) in order to avoid suspension.

Russia has already been banned from international competition by the IAAF following a report by the World Anti-Doping Agency's independent commission, which is headed by Dick Pound. The 73-year-old Canadian is set to release the second part of his findings on 14 January.