MOSCOW, February 6. /TASS/. Thirty-two Russian athletes have filed a lawsuit against the International Olympic Committee (IOC) with the Ad Hoc Division of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) requesting that CAS overturn the IOC decision and allow them to take part in the 2018 Olympic Games, Swiss law firm Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd. said in a statement obtained by TASS.
According to the statement, the grounds for the lawsuit were the non-transparent nature of the criteria that has been applied, the discrimination based on citizenship grounds, the illegal nature of the decision, failure to comply with the CAS verdict, damage to reputation, dignity and professional careers. To prevent irreparable consequences, the athletes demanded that urgent provisional measures are taken. The lawsuit contains a motion to hold a hearing in the Lausanne-based court on February 7, 2018.
In addition to that, the document points to the sanctions nature of the invitation criteria applied by the IOC, their substantial expansion compared to those approved by the IOC Executive Board in its decision made on December 5, 2017 (the Executive Board approved of three criteria, while the Invitation Review Panel was guided by 17 criteria), violations of individual athletes’ rights and abuse of IOC monopoly position.
The applicants are Victor Ahn, Vladimir Grigorev, Anton Shipulin, Evgeniy Garanichev, Ruslan Murashov, Ekaterina Shikhova, Sergei Ustyugov, Ksenia Stolbova, Ekaterina Urlova-Percht, Maksim Tcvetkov, Irina Uslugina, Yulia Shokshueva, Daria Virolainen, Dmitri Popov, Roman Koshelev, Mikhail Naumenkov, Alexei Bereglasov, Valeri Nichushkin, Anton Belov, Sergei Plotnikov, Evgeniya Zakharova, Ruslan Zakharov, Anna Iurakova, Alexey Esin, Yulia Skokova, Elizaveta Kazelina, Sergey Gryaztsov, Ivan Bukin, Denis Arapetyan, Artem Kozlov, Gleb Retivikh and Alexey Volkov.
On Thursday, the aforementioned athletes filed appeals at the CAS Ad Hoc Division, which began working in South Korea.
On Monday, the IOC announced it had refused to invite 13 Russian athletes and two coaches who were earlier cleared by CAS to the Games. A total of 168 Russian athletes will take part in the Olympics, although the Russian Olympic Committee initially applied for 500 athletes to take part in the Games to the IOC.