Olympic Agenda 2020 is a strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement that was launched by IOC President Thomas Bach after his election in September 2013.
A year of open, transparent and widespread debate and discussion has resulted in 40 recommendations – made public on 18 November 2014 – that were discussed and unanimously approved by the full IOC membership at the 127th IOC Session on 8 and 9 December 2014 in Monaco.
The 40 recommendations that make up Olympic Agenda 2020 stem from the thousands of contributions received from members of the Olympic Movement, public and civil society.
More than 40,000 submissions were received, from which 1,200 concrete ideas were produced. These ideas were then further refined into the 40 recommendations by the IOC Executive Board, the 126th IOC Session, 14 Working Groups, the IOC Commissions, and two Olympic Summits.
In 2021, Olympic Agenda 2020+5, the new strategic roadmap which includes 15 recommendations, is the successor of Olympic Agenda 2020. Building on the results of the previous roadmap, it will guide the work of the IOC and the Olympic Movement for the next five years.
The New Norm is an ambitious set of 118 reforms that reimagines how the Olympic Games are delivered. The plan, which focuses on six recommendations of Olympic Agenda 2020 related to the organisation of the Games, will provide cities with increased flexibility in designing the Games to meet long-term development goals, and will ensure that host cities receive more assistance from the IOC and the wider Olympic Movement.
The New Norm has been approved by the IOC members during the 132nd IOC Session held in PyeongChang in February 2018.
More than 80 of the 118 solutions that have been proposed would result in cost efficiencies without compromising the Olympic experience. The plan invites opportunities to reduce venue sizes, rethink transport options, optimise existing infrastructure and reuse the field of play for various sports.
The fight against doping is a priority for the IOC. It works in close collaboration with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), with an aim to applying a “zero tolerance” policy.
The IOC’s Medical Commission has been fighting doping since 1967. Its field of action expanded after the creation of WADA in 1999. The role of this independent Agency is to promote and coordinate, on an international level, the fight against all forms of doping.
At the Games, the IOC requires the Organising Committee to apply all practical methods of collecting urine and blood samples. It sets the number of tests to be performed in collaboration with the IFs concerned, the Games Organising Committee and the laboratory accredited for the Games, which works solely under the authority of the IOC.
Through Olympic Solidarity, a Commission of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), assistance is provided to all of the National Olympic Committees (NOCs), particularly to those which are in greater need, so that they can develop their own structures to favour the expansion of sport in their countries.
World and continental programmes are set up to increase global assistance to the athletes, strengthen the structure of the NOCs and maintain assistance to training for coaches. Athletes can also obtain subsidies to help them train with a view to qualifying for the Olympic Games.
The IOC is committed to building a sustainable future by working with partners and major groups and driving a global framework for action. Sport presents broad opportunities to promote sustainability awareness, capacity building and far-reaching actions for environmental, social and economic development across society.
As the Olympic Games have grown to become the world’s foremost sporting event, their impact on a host city and country has also increased. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) realised that the Games need to create more than just good memories from 16 days of competition.
Today sustainability and legacy are essential parts of any modern Olympic Games project. These have been increasingly important themes since the early 2000s and are central concepts in the Olympic Agenda 2020 initiative, the strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement.
Since the foundation of the IOC, non-discrimination has been at the core of the Olympic Games.
Pierre de Coubertin founder of the modern Olympic Games and the IOC once said : "We shall not have peace until the prejudices that now separate the different races are outlived. To attain this end, what better means is there than to bring the youth of all countries periodically together for amicable trials of muscular strength and agility?”
The Olympic Charter now states, in the Fundamental Principles of Olympism, that “The enjoyment of the rights and freedoms [...] shall be secured without discrimination of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, sexual orientation, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status”.
Its mission is to ensure respect, within the Olympic Movement, of the ethical principles set out in the Olympic Charter. To do this, it establishes a Code of Ethics which contains the applicable rules.
In the event of a violation of the Code, it recommends measures to the IOC Executive Board. These range from a reminder of the rules to sanctions such as suspension of an NOC. The Ethics Commission also seeks to avoid breaches of the Code of Ethics by advising all the members of the Olympic Movement.
This independent Commission is composed of nine members, the majority of whom are personalities from outside the Olympic Movement.
Anyone concerned by a violation of the ethical principles in the IOC Code of Ethics can make a complaint to the Ethics Commission, provided that the complaint is against one of the bodies required to comply with the Code of Ethics - namely the IOC members, the Organising Committees for the Olympic Games (OCOGs), National Olympic Committees (NOCs), the cities bidding to host the Olympic Games and anyone taking part in the Olympic Games. The complaint will be sent to the IOC President for analysis and a recommendation by the Commission if the situation warrants it.
The Ethics Commission can recommend measures or sanctions against people or organisations who are required to respect the Olympic Charter and the Code of Ethics: the IOC administration and members, the Organising Committees for the Olympic Games (OCOGs), the National Olympic Committees (NOCs), the cities bidding to host the Olympic Games or Youth Olympic Games and all the Olympic Games participants, including athletes and their entourage members, NOC delegations, and the International Federations (IFs) and their referees, judges, etc.
You can report suspicious approaches, activities related to competition manipulation, infringements of the IOC Code of Ethics or other matters, including financial misconduct or other legal, regulatory and ethical breaches over which the IOC has jurisdiction, by using the IOC Integrity and Compliance Hotline.
The IOC is the owner of the Olympic Games and leader of the Olympic Movement. The IOC has no mandate and no capability to change the laws or political system of a sovereign country.
This also guarantees that in return, the IOC can maintain its independence, its political neutrality, which it needs to preserve the autonomy of sport.
Respect for the Olympic Charter is part of the Olympic Host Contract, and by signing the Olympic Host Contract, hosts are committing to respect the Olympic Charter in the context of the Games.
Important provisions related to respect for human rights in the conduct of Games-related activities are also included in the Host Contract (e.g. labour conditions and procurement, diversity and inclusion, health and environment, media coverage of the Games, peaceful assembly and protest, relocation of populations displaced by Olympic constructions, privacy and use of personal data).
The IOC monitors regularly and holds discussion with the OCOGs to make sure they meet their contractual requirements. In addition, the IOC has established an escalation mechanism with all Organising Committees through the Coordination Commission. All complaints can be brought to the immediate attention of the Organising Committee through this process. Other stakeholders can raise their topics with the IOC, which will then take them up with the Organising Committee too.
However, it is important to note that the IOC has neither the mandate nor the capability to change the laws or the political system of a sovereign country. This must rightfully remain the legitimate role of governments and respective intergovernmental organisations. The situation of human rights outside the Olympic Games’ activities is beyond the IOC’s remit.
The IOC recognises and upholds human rights, as enshrined in both the Fundamental Principles of the Olympic Charter and the IOC Code of Ethics. It is committed to improving the promotion and respect of human rights within the scope of its responsibility across its three spheres of influence – as an organisation, as the owner of the Olympic Games and as the leader of the Olympic Movement.
In 2017, as part of the implementation of Olympic Agenda 2020, the IOC adopted new procedures to ensure that Games-related activities further minimise negative impacts on people while maximising positive ones, in order to ensure that respect for human rights can become an important dimension of the success of Games.
The Olympic Host Contract has been strengthened with the inclusion of a dedicated requirement for Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (OCOGs) and hosts to “protect and respect human rights and ensure any violation of human rights is remedied in a manner consistent with international agreements, laws and regulations applicable in the Host Country and in a manner consistent with all internationally recognised human rights standards and principles, including the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), applicable in the Host Country”.
The 2018 “Operational Requirements” of the Olympic Games also include stronger provisions protecting human rights related to the operations of the Games, and require OCOGs to adopt a policy commitment and develop and implement a comprehensive human rights strategy that covers all their operations, in close cooperation with the host city and country, and all their partners. These requirements apply to the hosts from 2024 onwards.
Among other changes, the new approach to electing Olympic hosts strengthens human rights requirements towards future hosts of the Olympic Games, in line with Olympic Agenda 2020+5. In the Future Host Questionnaire, the Preferred Hosts are required to describe how they will seek to identify and address adverse human rights impacts, in line with international standards, including the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), throughout the lifecycle of the Games. As part of procedure leading up to an Olympic host election, the IOC commissions an independent human rights review of the context of each proposed Olympic project put forward by an Interested Party in Continuous Dialogue to host the Games. This practice began during the election process for the Olympic Winter Games 2026.
By signing the Olympic Host Contract following the election of the host, the IOC enters into an agreement with the host National Olympic Committee (NOC), the host and the OCOG (which signs at a later date), and requires that they abide by the provisions of the Olympic Charter and the IOC Code of Ethics.
Pursuant to their obligations in their activities related to the Games, they shall prohibit any form of discrimination, ensure access to the country for media accredited by the IOC, freedom of reporting, freedom of expression, open internet, refrain fraud and corruption, etc.
The Olympic Charter stipulates that :
- (Chapter 1, Rules 2, Paragraph 5) The IOC’s role is to take action to strengthen the unity of the Olympic Movement, to protect its independence, to maintain and promote its political neutrality and to reserve the autonomy of sport.
- (Chapter 4, Rules 27) NOCs may cooperate with governmental bodies however they shall not associate themselves with any activity which would be in contradiction with the Olympic Charter. The NOCs must preserve their autonomy and resist all pressures of any kind, including but not limited to political, legal, religious or economic pressures. The IOC Executive Board may take any appropriate decisions for the protection of the Olympic Movement’s neutrality.
- (Chapter 3, Rules 25) Each IF maintains its independence and autonomy in the governance of its sport.
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