Dear Fellow Athletes,

I want to provide an update to you as a follow-up to last year’s International Athletes’ Forum and the recent IOC Executive Board and IOC Athletes’ Commission joint meeting.

It is an important part of our democratic mandate, as elected representatives, to ensure that the athletes’ viewpoint remains at the heart of Olympic Movement decisions, by ensuring ongoing dialogue with all athletes.

One element of this ongoing dialogue took place at the International Athletes’ Forum in April last year, which was attended by 350 athlete representatives from 185 National Olympic Committees (NOCs).  A key recommendation from the attendees was to continue to strengthen the solidarity funding model, as it serves all athletes from all 206 NOCs, plus the IOC Refugee Olympic Team and all Olympic sports.

It is important to achieve the necessary balance between this collective interest in protecting the solidarity funding model and each individual athlete’s right to generate income.

This is underlined in Right 5 of the Athletes’ Declaration – Leverage opportunities to generate income in relation to their sporting career, name and likeness, while recognising the intellectual property or other rights, rules of the event, and of sports organisations as well as the Olympic Charter.

Of course, we are aware of the important role played by the Games-time athlete marketing framework (including bye-law 3 to Rule 40 of the Olympic Charter) in achieving that balance.

The IOC Athletes’ Commission, and the IOC itself, are aware that some athletes believe that the Rule 40 framework unjustly restricts their individual economic opportunities and rights. It is important to note there has been greater flexibility for athletes and their sponsors as a result of the changes to the Rule 40 framework for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

Therefore, the IOC Athletes’ Commission wishes to conduct a comprehensive consultation on this topic, to understand athletes’ practical experiences of using the new athlete advertising Key Principles framework for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and collect feedback, so that we can make recommendations for the future.

The IOC Athletes’ Commission wants to make sure that there is every opportunity for athletes and athletes’ groups, as well as other interested stakeholders, to be part of this consultation.

The aim is to conduct this in-depth consultation throughout 2020, with a view to developing any recommendations before the end of the year. As a first step, a working group will be established which will further define the objectives and the approach of this broad consultation. The consultation will include focus groups with athletes and athlete representatives at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

In addition, please note that the IOC has today issued an FAQ document for athletes, summarising the Key Principles for the Tokyo 2020. The IOC will also be sharing with NOCs the new Athlete Advertising Notification Portal for Tokyo 2020, along with Illustrative Guidance to the Key Principles for non-Olympic sponsors. For further information on this process, please contact your NOC directly.

Kind regards,

Kristy Coventry Signature

Kirsty Coventry – Chair, IOC Athletes’ Commission

Find more information on the Athletes’ Declaration, which has the overarching goal of further supporting all athletes, no matter what their sport, age, gender, or nationality, by outlining a common set of aspirational rights and responsibilities for athletes within the Olympic Movement.