IOC disappointed at decision of Swiss Federal Tribunal

It is with disappointment that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has been informed of the ruling by the Swiss Federal Tribunal rejecting the IOC appeal against the CAS decision dated 23 April 2018 regarding the Russian Cross Country Skier Alexander Legkov. 

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To protect the rights of the clean athletes, the IOC had challenged the CAS decision of 1 February 2018 to uphold the appeal of Mr Legkov against his disqualification following an anti-doping rule violation at the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014. The anti-doping rule violation was announced on 1 November 2017 by an IOC Disciplinary Commission. Mr Legkov was disqualified from the Games in Sochi; his medals were withdrawn; and he was declared ineligible to be accredited in any capacity for all editions of the Games of the Olympiad and the Olympic Winter Games subsequent to the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.

On 1 February 2018, the CAS upheld 28 appeals by Russian athletes and confirmed only 11 of the IOC decisions taken against Russian athletes who had participated in the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014.

The IOC received the first reasoned decisions from CAS in late April 2018, and it was decided to appeal the first of the 28 CAS decisions that did not confirm the IOC Disciplinary Commission decisions before the Swiss Federal Tribunal. It was felt that, even if the chances of winning might not be high, given the specific circumstances of the cases, it was still important to appeal the cases to exhaust all possible avenues in order to protect clean athletes.

The reasons for the decision to reject the IOC appeal in this case have not yet been disclosed, but since the 28 reasoned decisions by the CAS are similar, the IOC will not proceed with appeals for the remaining 27 cases. The IOC does however reserve the right to reopen these cases should new evidence arise.

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