03 Mar 2020
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board (EB) today met for the second time in 2020 on the first of two days of discussions at Olympic House in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Eleven applications for a change of nationality were accepted by the IOC EB:
- Ms Anna KELMAN - Gymnastics - from Bulgaria to Israel
- Ms Paula AMILIBIA PUIG - Equestrian - from Spain to Mexico
- Ms Paulina ARMERIA - Taekwondo - from Mexico to Italy
- Mr Luan GROBBELAAR - Swimming - from South Africa to New Zealand
- Mr Ilyas BEKBULATOV - Wrestling - from Russia to Uzbekistan
- Ms Olga ZABELINSKAYA - Cycling - from Russia to Uzbekistan
- Mr Zurabi DATUNASHVILI - Wrestling - from Georgia to Serbia
- Mr Aleksandr SAVKIN - Modern Pentathlon - from Russia to Uzbekistan
- Ms Alise FAKHRUTDINOVA - Modern Pentathlon - from Russia to Uzbekistan
- Ms Marija STETIC - Taekwondo - from Croatia to Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Mr Saeid MOLLAEI - Judo - from Refugee status to Mongolia
The IOC Executive Board has granted the requested exemption to the three-year waiting period following the consent provided by the respective International Federations and National Olympic Committees.
The IOC EB was also updated on the consultation process regarding “athletes’ inclusion on the basis of sex characteristics and gender identity”. The aim of the process is to develop a framework of voluntary guidelines for athletes and International Federations (IFs) regarding this topic, which has, in the past few years, been informed by new developments, data, research and learnings in the scientific and human rights sectors. A number of cases have also been highlighted through proceedings in arbitration courts. To date, the IOC has started a process of consultation to consider not only the medical, scientific and legal perspectives, but also that of human rights, with an emphasis on the view and experiences of affected athletes.
Overall, the discussions so far have confirmed considerable tension between the notions of fairness and inclusion, and the desire and need to protect the women’s category. Opinions are very diverse and difficult to reconcile, and perceptions differ strongly. The new IOC guidelines will have to balance all of these.
A change of the existing guidelines – the 2015 Consensus Statement – at this stage would mean a change of rules during an ongoing competition with the qualification for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 already underway. Such a change, therefore, would be neither ethically nor legally admissible. Furthermore, it was always clear that the IOC could not change its existing guidelines while the consultation is ongoing.
For all these reasons, the IOC will reflect further on new guidelines for “athletes’ inclusion on the basis of sex characteristics and gender identity.”