The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has registered an appeal filed by the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) against the decision by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to suspend its membership, the independent judicial body said.
The challenge arose over the IOC’s suspension of the ROC following the ROC decision to include as its members some regional sport organisations which are under the authority of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Ukraine.
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“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, benefitting from all rights and prerogatives granted by the Olympic Charter,” CAS said in a release.
“The CAS arbitration proceedings have commenced. In accordance with the Code of Sports-related Arbitration (the CAS Code), the arbitration rules governing CAS procedures, the parties are exchanging written submissions and the Panel of arbitrators that will decide the matter is being constituted.”
The ROC was banned with immediate effect on October 12 for recognising regional organisations from four territories annexed from Ukraine, the IOC said.
The IOC added that the ROC would not be eligible for any funding after it recognised earlier this month Olympic Councils from the regions of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhia – but that this would not affect any Russian athletes competing as neutrals.
Russian President Vladimir Putin later accused the IOC of using the Olympic Games as a political tool.
“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 told the Russia-Sporting Power conference in the Urals city of Perm.
“And that the Games themselves can be used as an instrument of political pressure against people who have nothing to do with politics. And as gross, and in fact racist, ethnic discrimination.”
Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine last year, which it calls a “special military operation”, has triggered multiple sporting sanctions, including exclusion from international football.
The CAS panel’s decision will be final and binding, with the exception of the parties’ right to file an appeal to the Swiss Federal Tribunal within 30 days on limited grounds.
The sport court said the arbitration proceedings had already begun with both parties exchanging written submissions before a panel of arbitrators is created.
“At this time, it is not possible to indicate a time frame for the issuance of the decision,” it added.