Chistiakov moved to Australia with his then-wife Tatiana Grigorieva and became an Australian citizen. His personal best is 5.90 metres, and his best Olympic performance was in 2000 when he finished fifth. He is the son of Olympic medalist Natalya Pechonkina.
In mid-2006 he declared he was transferring back to Russia. The move was finalized on 12 February 2007.