An appeal against the re-election of Johan Eliasch has been launched ©Getty Images

Four countries have lodged an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against last month's International Ski Federation (FIS) Presidential election which returned Johan Eliasch unopposed.

Austria, Germany, Croatia and Switzerland told the FIS on Friday (June 17) that they were challenging the vote held at a drama-filled FIS Congress in Milan.

The nations claim that "procedural motions that were obviously formulated according to democratic principles and correctly submitted or brought forward were not admitted by the external FIS legal counsel".

"For this reason, we have decided to have the proceedings of the FIS Congress 2022 reviewed by CAS as a precautionary measure," they added.

Sweden's Eliasch was elected for a further four years without challenge on May 26 but the Congress was marred by walkouts from major skiing countries.

A number of delegates left the room in the Italian city's Allianz Tower, with the choices on the ballot a major source of contention.

Only the name of Eliasch was reportedly included, with the challenging countries insisting it should have been "yes" and "no".

Stefan Schwarzbach of the German Ski Federation said "an election in which delegates had only one option to vote validly, namely to vote yes, does not correspond to our understanding of the law and is only a farce".

Eliasch defeated three other candidates to win a landslide election in June of last year, to complete the term of retiring incumbent Gian-Franco Kasper.

The billionaire is based in London and is a British citizen, and still gained 70 out of 100 votes in last month's election, despite the walkouts.

He received a standing ovation from those remaining in the room. 

Since becoming President, Eliasch has faced opposition to his plan to centralise the marketing of FIS World Cup events, while stripping member associations of the rights.

Johan Eliasch was re-elected unopposed for a further four years in May ©Getty Images
Johan Eliasch was re-elected unopposed for a further four years in May ©Getty Images

He became only the fifth President in the 98-year history of the FIS, and the first non-Swiss since 1951.

After becoming the head of FIS, he stepped down as chief executive of sports equipment company HEAD.

FIS electoral director Stephan Netzle said at last month's election that "a valid ballot is a ballot which contains the name or names of the candidates for the open slots".

"There is no yes and no," he said.

"If you do not want to support the name on the ballot then you can simply abstain."

Croatia's Vedran Pavlek claimed that this stance was "not in accordance with democratic process".

The FIS said it was confident the election was run correctly and according to the rules.

"So far, no details or request for relief have been presented by the four national member associations," a statement said.

"For the Presidential election, no national member association had proposed any other candidate and the incumbent FIS President Johan Eliasch stood for re-election unopposed.

"During the FIS 2022 Congress, delegates from the four appealing national member associations solicited other member nations to not participate in the election process. 

"Nevertheless, the required presence quorum was not compromised, and Mr Eliasch was re-elected with an absolute majority of the votes of all national member associations, including those who left the room and decided not to vote.

"FIS is confident that the proceedings of the FIS 2022 Congress were held in strict compliance with the FIS statutes and Swiss law, as confirmed by FIS legal advisors. 

"Furthermore, FIS believes that the allegations put forward by the four national member associations are entirely without merit or substance."