CAS registers Russian appeal against Olympic membership suspension

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach gestures as he speaks during a news conference, ahead of the 141st IOC Session, in Mumbai, India, October 13, 2023. REUTERS/Niharika Kulkarni/File Photo

The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) has filed an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) decision to suspend the ROC’s membership. The independent judicial body announced this on Monday.

The dispute started when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) suspended the ROC for admitting specific regional sports organizations within the purview of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Ukraine as members.

“In its appeal to the CAS, the ROC requests that the Challenged Decision be set aside and that it be reinstated as a NOC recognised by the IOC, benefiting from all rights and prerogatives granted by the Olympic Charter,” the CAS noted in a release.

“The arbitration process for the CAS has begun. The parties are exchanging written submissions in compliance with the Code of Sports-related Arbitration (the CAS Code), the arbitration rules controlling CAS processes, and the panel of arbitrators that will determine the issue is being constituted.”

The International Olympic Committee declared that the Russian Olympic Committee was immediately barred on October 12 for recognizing regional organizations from four areas that Ukraine had taken.

After recognizing the Olympic Councils from the regions of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia earlier this month, the IOC stated that the ROC would not be eligible for any financing; nevertheless, it would not have an impact on any Russian athletes competing as neutrals.

Russian President Vladamir Putin then accused the IOC of exploiting the Games as a political instrument.

“Thanks to some of the leaders of the modern International Olympic Committee, we learned that an invitation to the Games is not an unconditional right of the best athletes, but a kind of privilege, and can be earned not by sporting results, but by political gestures that have nothing to do with sport at all,” Putin said at the “Russia – Sporting Power” meeting in the Urals town of Perm.

“And that political pressure may be applied to those who are unrelated to politics through the usage of the Games itself. and as egregious—indeed, racist—ethnic prejudice.”

Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine last year, which it refers to as a “special military operation,” has resulted in more athletic penalties, such as exclusion from international soccer competitions.

The parties may, for limited reasons, submit an appeal to the Swiss Federal Tribunal within 30 days following the CAS Panel’s decision; otherwise, the judgment will be final and binding.

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