<
>

International Luge Federation seeks new way to isolate Russia

BERCHTESGADEN, Germany -- The governing body of luge wants to change its legal rules to find a new way of isolating Russia in the sport because of the war on Ukraine, it said Monday.

The International Luge Federation (FIL) has reacted to a decision by its own independent tribunal last week to lift sanctions on its Russian member imposed one month ago by the executive board.

The tribunal's ruling lifted a suspension on Russian athletes competing and on the country hosting international events.

FIL said its leadership "will look for possibilities to solve the unsatisfactory situation caused by the arbitration judgment of the FIL Court of Arbitration by means of a possible change in the statutes."

Luge is among several Olympic sports facing legal issues and challenges to their decisions in recent weeks to bar Russian athletes, teams, officials and host venues.

Russian soccer and figure skating appeals are the highest-profile of several cases pending at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland.

Changing FIL statutes will need a two-thirds majority of member federations at their congress on June 18-19 in Riga, Latvia -- the home country of the governing body's president, Einars Fogelis.

Fogelis said last week Russia should "immediately end the war in Ukraine and put an end to the unspeakable human suffering."

FIL could not get a two-thirds majority at an extra congress last Friday for a proposal to expel the Russian Luge Federation. Members did vote by a simple majority to expel Russians from official positions, including Natalia Gart from the FIL executive board.

At the Beijing Olympics in February, the Russian team took home one bronze medal in luge earned by Tatiana Ivanova in the women's singles.

On Monday, FIL offered its "unbroken and unrestricted solidarity" to the luge community and all people in Ukraine.