1st INTERNATIONAL ATHLETES’ FORUM
Jacques Rogge opened the Forum with a welcome speech, together with a presentation of the history of the IOC Athletes’ Commission by Peter Tallberg, an Honorary Member of the Commission.
The programme featured a number of plenary and discussion sessions, ranging from an examination of the role of athletes’ commissions to the IOC’s global view of sport. Gilbert Felli (IOC Director of Sport, Olympic Games Coordination and Relations with the IFs) gave a presentation on the Olympic sports programme and the IOC’s vision against gigantism of the Games, while Sergey Bubka (Chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission) spoke about the creation and functioning of athletes’ commissions.
The three discussion sessions took place in the afternoon of 19 October, with participants sharing their thoughts on the fight against doping, self-marketing for athletes during and after their sporting career, and the integration of professional athletes into the Olympic Movement.
The Forum closed with a presentation from Françoise Zweifel (Director of The Olympic Museum) on The Olympic Museum, and final conclusions from Sergey Bubka.
Representatives from organisations across the Olympic Movement were in attendance, including NOC ACs, IF ACs, IOC representatives and IOC President Jacques Rogge
- The fight against doping
- Self-marketing for athletes during and after their sporting careers
- The integration of professional athletes in the Olympic Movement
Outcomes and recommendations
The athlete representatives who attended the 1st International Athletes’ Forum recognised the work of the IOC in bringing the athletes’ commissions together, and made clear their support for the Forum to be held on a regular basis. This historic Forum acted as a catalyst for improving athlete standing in the Olympic Movement, and led directly to the creation of the IOC Athlete Career Programme (now known as Athlete365 Career+), and other athlete support networks.
The Forum attendees also encouraged all NOCs and IFs to create athletes’ commissions and to involve athletes in sports administration. Key recommendations from the Forum included:
- Acceptance of the WADA Anti-Doping Code: The Olympic Movement to give full support to the implementation of WADA processes and to place emphasis on education and distribution of the new Code to athletes.
- Support to athletes: NOCs and National Federations should recognise that they share the responsibility of assisting athletes with managing life after sport, including sharing information from government sources, compiling examples of “best practices” of other Olympic partners and using elite athletes to assist with education programmes.
- Integration of athletes: Athletes should commit, with the help of their National Federations, to do at least two-to-four days of solidarity work per year within their sport for free. Additionally, elected athletes on athletes’ commissions must be aware of their responsibilities as representatives and contribute to the Olympic Movement and to their sport.