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Court upholds appeal of Russian ex-sports chief Mutko against lifetime Olympic suspension

The official was banned from sports for life in December 2017

MOSCOW, July 11. /TASS/. The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled on Thursday to grant an appeal by Russian Deputy Prime Minister and ex-Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko against his life-term suspension from all future Olympic Games.

"The Court of Arbitration for Sport rules that the appeal filed by Mr. Vitaly Mutko on 26 December 2017 is upheld," the Swiss-based court said in a statement.

"The decision concerning Mr. Vitaly Mutko, adopted by the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee on 5 December 2017, is set aside," according to the statement. "All further or different motions or prayers for relief are dismissed."

Commenting on the court’s decision, Mutko told TASS that he was happy with the outcome of his appeal.

"I am satisfied with the CAS ruling," Mutko, who served as the Russian Sports Minister between 2012 and 2016, stated.

Russian sports lawyer Artyom Patsev said in an interview with TASS that the decision of the Swiss court to uphold Mutko’s appeal was just since the suspension had been illegal from the start.

"A decision made by the IOC, particularly in regard to Vitaly Mutko, was illegal and had no grounds," Patsev stated.

"Everything is now stated in detail in the court’s decision and the whole team of lawyers, all of us, are very happy because it was one of the major and most complicated cases," he added.

IOC probe into Russia’s doping scandals

The Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) ruled on December 5, 2017 to ban for life Vitaly Mutko from attending all future Olympic Games in any capacity citing numerous doping scandals in Russian sports that had been exposed by the IOC investigation by Samuel Schmid.

The world’s governing Olympic body stated that not only did it ban Russian Deputy Prime Minister Mutko and ex-Sports Minister Yury Nagornykh from attending all Olympic events in their official capacities, but it also deprived the ROC and its President Zhukov of IOC membership. A number of additional sanctions against other Russian sports officials followed.

In 2017, the IOC suspended the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) based on the reports released by Denis Oswald Commission and another IOC commission, headed by Samuel Schmid, banning the national team from participating in the 2018 Olympic Games.

The IOC accused Russia of systematic violations of anti-doping rules, particularly during the 2014 Sochi Olympics. The membership of the Russian Olympic Committee was reinstated shortly after the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang.

In July 2016, the IOC set up two separate commissions to probe into doping abuse allegations in Russian sports as well as the alleged involvement of state officials in manipulations with performance enhancing drugs, particularly at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia’s Sochi.

The first of the two commissions was the Inquiry Commission, chaired by the former President of Switzerland, Samuel Schmid. The commission was looking into accusations set out in the report of Canadian sports law professor Richard McLaren that stated the existence of a supposed institutional conspiracy in Russia’s summer and winter sports, in which the country’s state officials were engaged.

The second investigative body was the Disciplinary Commission, chaired by IOC Member Denis Oswald. This commission was tasked to address alleged doping uses and tampering with the samples of the Russian athletes, who participated in the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi in 2014.