FIS delays 2025 Freestyle and Snowboard Worlds bidding amid Russian CAS appeal

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The International Ski Federation (FIS) has announced that it will postpone the bidding process for its 2025 Freestyle and Snowboard World Championships in light of Russia’s appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against the sanctions levied against it by the World Anti-Doping Agency. 

The Russian city of Krasnoyarsk is currently the only candidate to stage the event but, with Russia currently facing a four-year ban from hosting major sporting events, pending its appeal to CAS, FIS has ruled that its candidacy would not be permitted as things stand.

The organisation had set the application deadline for potential hosts for the event for May 1, but announced at its council gathering yesterday (February 6) that it will postpone the process and review the situation at this year’s FIS Congress. The Congress will take place in Thailand from May 17 to 23, by which time FIS hopes Russia’s position will be clearer.

FIS said: “If the verdict of CAS has been made by this time, a decision on the process and timing for the Council to elect an Organiser of the FIS Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championships in 2025 will then be made.”

Russian Freestyle Federation president Alexei Kurashov has responded to the decision, saying that the sanctions should not affect Krasnoyarsk’s bid for the event, citing the fact that, even if it is upheld, the four-year Wada ban would have expired by 2025 anyway.

He remarked: “We submitted the application for the nomination of Krasnoyarsk on time before the decision of the compliance committee.

“We paid the application fee, our application was accepted by the FIS, we remained the only candidate. And the World Cup events themselves will take place after the expiration of possible four-year sanctions. If we consider this case in legal plane, then we should not fall under these sanctions.”

Russia was hit with the four-year ban from Wada at the end of last year, before confirming that it intended to take the case to CAS. The latest development saw Wada this week announce that it was seeking a public hearing for the proceedings.

The news follows FIS’s recent cancelation of its upcoming Ski World Cup in Yanqing, China, which had been intended as the first test event for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.

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