32 Russian Athletes File Suit in CAS Urging IOC Invitations to Games - Lawyers

© REUTERS / Pierre AlbouyGeneral view shows the building of the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland, July 21, 2016
General view shows the building of the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland, July 21, 2016 - Sputnik International
Russian athletes, who have been denied an invitation to the Olympic Games in South Korea’s Pyeongchang, have filed a suit against the International Olympic Committee (IOC) with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) demanding to urgently oblige the IOC to admit them to the Games, the Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd. legal firm said Tuesday.

"The thirty-two Russian athletes, who did not receive an invitation to participate in the Olympics in Pyeongchang, have filed a class action lawsuit against the IOC with the court of first instance of the Tribunal in Lausanne, demanding to urge the IOC to admit them to participate in these Games. The foundation for the claim is non-transparent nature of the criteria applied, discrimination on the basis of citizenship, unlawful nature of the decision, as well as non-fulfillment of the CAS ruling, damage to reputation, dignity and professional careers,” the statement said.

The legal firm noted that the nature of the IOC’s criteria for invitations to the Olympic Games, as well as the abuse of the organization’s monopoly position also served as the basis for the Russian athletes’ suit.

The court hearing for the appeals is scheduled for 4:00 GMT on Wednesday, the legal firm added.

In December, the IOC suspended the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) over an alleged state-sponsored doping scheme in the country and prohibited Russian athletes from competing under the national flag in the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics, saying that only "clean" athletes may participate in the contest under a neutral flag.

READ MORE: IOC Head Notes Need for CAS Reform After Russian Athletes Appeals Upheld

So far, the IOC has invited 169 Russian athletes to compete in the upcoming Winter Games. The invitations have not however been extended to a number of leading Russian athletes.

"The parties are exchanging written submissions and a hearing is likely to be held on February 7, 2018. The Panel’s decision will be communicated as soon as possible thereafter," CAS added.

Last week, CAS fully overturned the IOC ban for 28 Russian athletes and partially upheld the appeals against the ban for 11 others.

However, on Monday, the IOC Invitation Review Panel recommended that the committee not extend an invitation to the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang to 15 Russian athletes and coaches, who were among the 28 acquited.

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