CAS upholds IOC suspension of the Russian Olympic Committee.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has rejected the Russian Olympic Committee's (ROC) appeal against the suspension imposed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 12 October 2023 over the conflict in Ukraine, the Lausanne-based court announced on Friday.

The IOC had suspended the Russian committee for bringing several sports organisations from the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhya under its authority. CAS said its decision was "final and binding" and that Russia's last resort was to appeal to the Swiss Federal Court within 30 days. The Tribunal found that the IOC "did not undermine the principles of legality, equality, predictability and proportionality".

According to the IOC, the Russian initiative was a "violation of the territorial integrity of the Ukrainian Olympic Committee" and thus of the Olympic Charter. On 6 November, the Russian Olympic Committee appealed to CAS. 

"The CAS Panel in charge of the case dismissed the appeal and upheld the contested decision, finding that the IOC EB had not violated the principles of legality, equality, predictability or proportionality. The Arbitral Award issued by the CAS Panel is currently subject to a confidentiality review, which means that the parties might request that the Arbitral Award, or certain information contained in it, remain confidential. For this reason, the Arbitral Award will not be published immediately on the CAS website", the CAS said.

The building that houses the Court of Arbitration for Sport. GETTY IMAGES
The building that houses the Court of Arbitration for Sport. GETTY IMAGES

The ROC's suspension, which has now been confirmed, comes on top of a series of sanctions adopted by the IOC at the end of February 2022: a ban on organising international competitions in Russia or Belarus, and a veto on the use of the two countries' official symbols at sporting events and on world podiums. This IOC measure had the additional effect of depriving the ROC of Olympic funding. 

In early December, the IOC allowed Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate in the Paris Olympics, provided that they had not actively supported the conflict in Ukraine and that they competed under a neutral flag.