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Ukrainian lawyer appeals to CAS, challenges Russia’s admission to the Olympics

Yuriy Yurchenko, Ukranian sports lawyer

Oleksandr Hlyvynskyy – USPA President

KYIV, January 3, 2024 – Amid frequent and inhumane missile attacks carried out by Russian troops in Ukraine, sports lawyer Yuriy Yurchenko has filed a lawsuit at the International Court of Arbitration in Lausanne (CAS) against the decision of the International Olympic Committee. The decision permitted so-called neutral athletes from Russia and Belarus to participate in competitions, including the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

The lawyer aims to prohibit athletes, authorities, and citizens of the military aggressor countries from entering the Olympics and international competitions for life.

War and killing people take precedence over the autonomy of sports “The war and the killing of Ukrainians represent a greater and incomparable violation of the rights, peace, and autonomy of an independent country compared to the autonomy of sports. This is how the IOC justifies its decision. The autonomy of sports cannot surpass the sovereignty, independence, and borders of the state, and it cannot justify the murders of Ukrainians, the war against Ukraine, and the occupation of our territories. This is evident at the level of all international institutions worldwide”, as argued by Yuriy Yurchenko in his appeal.

Previous suspension due to doping and decisions of FIFA and UEFA The lawyer reminds us that Russians were previously banned from international competitions for violating anti-doping rules. Therefore, international rules and violations of the borders of an independent state are no less important than the fight against doping in sports. Yurchenko also cites the example of FIFA and UEFA, which did not allow Russia to participate in their competitions due to military aggression on the territory of Ukraine.

Public Fundraising for an Appeal An interesting fact is that the lawyer managed to collect the necessary amount of 1,000 Swiss francs to submit an appeal to the CAS within two days. To achieve this, Yurchenko initiated a public fundraising campaign among Ukrainians and quickly gathered the required amount.

The key donor was a contribution from a well-known functionary, the head of the NOC of Ukraine eSports Commission, and the president of the Dnipro Regional Rugby Federation, Denys Davydov. Olena Rozhkova, the president of the Lithuanian Federation of Cheerleaders and the founder of the “ReD Foxes team,” provided substantial support in financial and organizational matters.


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