The Court of Arbitration for Sports hears Russia appeal against International Olympic Committee ban News
Fanny Schertzer, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
The Court of Arbitration for Sports hears Russia appeal against International Olympic Committee ban

The Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) heard Russia’s appeal Friday against the sanctions imposed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC).

The IOC in October 2023 banned the ROC with immediate effect for “breach of the charter.” The step came on the heels of the ROC recognizing the Olympic council of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR), which are annexed territories of Ukraine, as its members. According to the IOC, this violated the national integrity of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Ukraine which is against the spirit of the Olympic Charter. The ROC was suspended, which caused the organization to cease receiving funding from the Olympic Movement, along with other benefits granted to it. The ban on the ROC did not affect the participation status of Russian and Belarusian athletes at the Paris Olympics 2024 and Milano Cortina Winter Olympics 2026 which the IOC stated it would consider at a later stage.

The CAS, which is the ultimate global authority for resolving sports-related disputes, on November 6, 2023, registered an appeal from the ROC against the IOC’s decision. The ROC requested CAS to set aside the order and reinstate it as an an official olympic committee.

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the IOC issued recommendations wherein it urged sports federations and organizers to exclude Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials from international sports events. Subsequently, a majority of  global sports federations barred athletes from the respective countries. However, the IOC allowed Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete as neutral athletes in individual events without their national flag, emblem or anthem. The IOC said that the individual athletes should not be punished for the actions committed by the government.

The details of the hearing have yet to be published. The decision made by CAS will be binding, except the parties would be allowed, on certain grounds, to appeal to the Swiss Federal Tribunal.