On 5 October, a video conference was held with the worldwide network of athletes’ commissions. Since the start of 2017, the IOC Athletes’ Commission has hosted regular video conferences with athletes’ commissions to increase their support and to facilitate regular communication and collaboration.
This call was particularly special as the participants had the opportunity to receive an update on anti-doping directly from Christophe De Kepper (IOC Director General), Richard Budgett (IOC Medical and Scientific Director) and Olivier Niggli (WADA Director General).
The participants of the call included 51 athlete representatives from the:
- Association of National Olympic Committees
- International Federations
- International Paralympic Committee
- National Olympic Committees
- World Anti-Doping Agency
During this call the following important topics were discussed:
- Athlete preparations for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018
- Charter of Athlete Rights and Responsibilities
The outcomes of the meeting included:
- Athletes were provided with a comprehensive update on anti-doping-related matters by Christophe De Kepper, Richard Budgett and Olivier Niggli.
- This good cooperation and continuous dialogue between the two organisations provided athletes with a clear update on:
- The IOC Reanalysis Programme for Sochi samples
- PyeongChang 2018 Anti-Doping Taskforce
- The McLaren Report follow-up, including the ongoing work of the two IOC Commissions, which have been established to investigate the findings of the McLaren Report, specifically:
- The IOC Inquiry Commission, chaired by Samuel Schmid, addresses Russian institutional involvement
- The IOC Disciplinary Commission, chaired by Denis Oswald, examines evidence against individual Russian athletes and their entourage.
- WADA’s focus on rebuilding a credible and sustainable anti-doping programme in Russia that will ensure the protection of clean athletes inside and outside the country. In this regard, in August, WADA published the RUSADA Roadmap to Code Compliance, which outlines the reinstatement criteria that RUSADA must fulfil before WADA’s independent Compliance Review Committee (CRC) would recommend, to WADA’s Foundation Board, that it be declared compliant again with the Code.
- Athletes were reassured that data protection was of the upmost importance to WADA; and that the Agency is currently working on guidelines that will provide additional support to Anti-Doping Organisations for their implementation of the International Standard of the Protection of Privacy and Personal Information – the first international standard of its kind, which was introduced in 2009.
- With regard to ADAMS:
- WADA highlighted that the Next Generation Development of ADAMS, as well as the maintenance of current ADAMS, is progressing well.
- The Next Generation of ADAMS will be developed and released one module at a time, with each released to a targeted group of users for testing and feedback prior to broader release to all ADAMS users.
- In practice, this means that both the existing ADAMS and the Next Generation ADAMS will be operating in parallel, with each new module replacing the ‘old’ version only when the ‘new’ version has been fully optimised and is fit to replace the previous module entirely.
- The first new module (Doping Control Forms) is to be released in November 2017.
- The International Athletes’ Forum in November will further be an opportunity for athletes to provide feedback on the future ADAMS.
After the update was given, athlete representatives benefited from the opportunity to ask questions directly to the IOC and WADA directors general, which lasted for about 90 minutes.
Athlete preparations for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018
- Athletes were reassured of their safety ahead of PyeongChang 2018, and the IOC underlined that their safety and security were a primary concern. A full update can be viewed here.
Charter of Athlete Rights and Responsibilities
The Charter of Athlete Rights and Responsibilities was introduced to the network of athletes’ commissions by IOC Athletes’ Commission member Kirsty Coventry. It was highlighted that the Charter was first proposed and introduced by the WADA AC at the Agency’s symposium in March 2017. Since then, the IOC AC and WADA AC have discussed how best to coordinate development of the Charter.
The project, which is being developed over the coming months, will be coordinated by the IOC Athletes’ Commission and will address the rights and responsibilities of all athletes, as well as the rights and responsibilities of organisations.
Topics to be included in the Charter are:
- Career transition and well-being
- Integrity and clean sport (anti-doping and competition manipulation)
- Sports competition
This Charter will be developed in close collaboration with all stakeholders. This consultation and stakeholders’ engagement will be carried out at three levels:
- Global network of athletes’ commissions
- Direct athlete engagement
- Olympic Movement stakeholders such as ANOC, IFs, IPC, WADA, WOA, etc.
The key outcomes of this discussion were:
- A Steering Committee will be established to oversee development of the project, coordinated by the IOC AC, and the following stakeholders will be invited to participate and contribute: athlete representatives from a number of summer and winter International Federations and one from each of the five Continental Associations, as well as representatives from WADA, IPC, WOA, professional unions and others stakeholders.
- Chairs from International Federations’ athletes’ commissions who wish to be considered as part of this Steering Committee should contact Kaveh Mehrabi at email@example.com before Wednesday 18 October. The Steering Committee will be selected from this group, taking into consideration balance and diversity in gender, sports, regional and different age groups.
- The Steering Committee will also include representatives from other organisations to ensure a wide and global reach, and the IOC AC will be reaching out to them soon.
- The first meeting of the newly formed Steering Committee is planned during the IOC International Athletes’ Forum in Lausanne from 11 to 13 November.
- As part of the full consultation that will be undertaken with all stakeholders, a questionnaire is also being compiled, which will enable thousands of elite level athletes to share their views on this subject.