AIPS / LAUSANNE: Ukrainian sports lawyer Yuriy Yurchenko has filed a lawsuit at the International Court of Arbitration in Lausanne against the decision of the International Olympic Committee to permitted 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.

He said: “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.”

Yurchenko pointed out that Russians had been banned previously from international competitions for violating anti-doping rules. He held that international rules and violations of the borders of an independent state were no less important than the fight against doping. He also cited 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.

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 Denys Davydov, the head of the NOC of Ukraine eSports Commission, and the president of the Dnipro Regional Rugby Federation. 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.