Demonising Justin Gatlin
13th September 2015
• At the invitation of the International Olympic Committee, the leading representatives of the Olympic Movement met in Lausanne today for the 7th Olympic Summit.
The Olympic Summit involves the leading representatives of the Olympic Movement. It forms part of the ongoing dialogue and consultation on important issues and subjects of significance for the future of the Olympic Movement.
The main areas under discussion were the following:
• The Athletes’ Rights and Responsibilities Declaration
• Progress in making the anti-doping system independent of sporting organisations and national interests – including the progress of the International Testing Agency
• Good governance
• Multi-sports events and the sports calendar
• The allocation of international sports events and the right of athletes to compete without discrimination
• The approach of the Olympic Movement to esports/egames
The Olympic Summit emphasised the significance of the Athletes’ Rights and Responsibilities Declaration. The participants of the Olympic Summit agreed to implement it in their own organisations and to encourage all their stakeholders to do the same. The Olympic Summit highlighted that the participation of more than 4,200 athletes in the preparation of the Declaration was a milestone with regard to the legitimacy of athlete representation because of its universality and diversity.
The Olympic Summit welcomed the good progress made in the establishment of the International Testing Agency (ITA). Progress is demonstrated by the fact that, in addition to the IOC, which is delegating its full anti-doping programme, 38 International Federations (IFs) currently delegate one or more aspects of their anti-doping programme to the ITA. The many advantages of joining the ITA were highlighted, in particular avoiding even the perception of a conflict of interest and increasing the credibility of the anti-doping system of IFs and any major sports organiser.
The Summit also highlighted that delegating hearings and sanctioning to the independent Court of Arbitration for Sport Anti-Doping Division (CAS ADD), commencing 1 January 2019, complies with the principle of the separation of powers. It was further noted that the CAS ADD offers speedier hearings by a Sole Arbitrator selected from a new CAS ADD list of expert anti-doping arbitrators, with the right of appeal, or by a three-member panel, with the President selected from the same list of expert arbitrators, if the parties waive their right of appeal. Procedures with a Sole Arbitrator are free of charge for up to four procedures per IF per annum, and all procedures with three arbitrators are free of charge.
The Summit welcomed the expressions of interest by a large number of Federations and is encouraging them to accelerate the process of signing up with the ITA and the CAS ADD. The Summit heard a report by the President of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) about the World Anti-Doping Code revisions and WADA governance issues.
The Summit heard from ASOIF and the AIOWF about their commitment to good governance and measures that have been recently taken, including phase two of ASOIF’s independent self-assessment, covering 50 governance criteria. The Summit also heard about and welcomed the creation of ASOIF’s new Governance Support and Monitoring Unit, designed to help the IFs increase their rate of implementation. Both ASOIF and the AIOWF expressed their thanks for the support of the IOC’s Ethics and Compliance Office in this regard. The Summit welcomed the announcement by the GAISF that it had initiated a good governance project for non-Olympic sports federations.
The reforms already implemented by the IOC for its own organisation in the framework of Olympic Agenda 2020 and with regard to individual NOCs were also emphasised. It was agreed that the sports movement, like any major organisation, is under scrutiny and that efforts to improve good governance throughout the Olympic Movement must remain an ongoing process and a priority. The participants expressed their full commitment to implement high-standard good governance measures, while recognising that no organisation is immune to wrongdoing.
The Summit discussed the proliferation of (multi-) sports events and its impact on the health of athletes, on championships organised by IFs and on continental games. The participants agreed that, given the growing number of sports organisers, it is difficult to establish a comprehensive sports calendar database.
The uniqueness of the Olympic Games was highlighted and supported by the participants. In order to address the issues raised and their wider impact on the overall role of sports organisations, such as pressure from commercial entities on the existing sports model and the role of IFs, the IOC will organise a brainstorming meeting and invite athletes and representatives of stakeholders to this meeting.
The Summit agreed that the allocation of international sports events to a country must include the necessary guarantees to ensure equal treatment for the participating athletes and sporting delegations, without any form of discrimination or political interference from the host country. This is in accordance with the basic principles of non-discrimination and autonomy which govern the Olympic Movement and which are recognised by various UN General Assembly resolutions, most recently that of 3 December 2018.
Recognising the fact that the sports movement is in competition with the esports/egames industry for the leisure time of young people, the Summit agreed that the Olympic Movement should not ignore its growth, particularly because of its popularity among young generations around the world. It was agreed that competitive gaming entails physical activity which can be compared to that required in more traditional sports. This, on the other hand, cannot necessarily be said to apply to leisure electronic gaming. For this reason, the use of the term sport with regard to esports/egames needs further dialogue and study.
It was agreed that the Olympic Movement should continue to engage with this community, whilst at the same time acknowledging that uncertainties remain. It was noted that:
• some egames are not compatible with the Olympic values and therefore cooperation with them is excluded;
• the industry is evolving rapidly, with the changing popularity of specific games and the rapid development towards augmented reality and virtual reality;
• the industry is fragmented in nature, with tough competition between commercial operators; and
• the industry is commercially driven, while on the other hand the sports movement is values-based.
For all these reasons, a discussion about the inclusion of esports/egames as a medal event on the Olympic programme is premature. The Summit advises major sports events organisers within the Olympic Movement to respect this principle for their own competitions.
A number of these uncertainties do not apply to esports simulation games. Because of this, accelerated cooperation with regard to these kinds of esports is encouraged by the Summit. The Summit encourages the IFs to explore the potential benefits and applications of the electronic and virtual versions of their sports, while:
• ensuring they gain or retain appropriate control over the electronic/virtual versions of their sports; and
• restricting their engagement to activation in the e-versions and virtual forms of their traditional sports.
It was decided that the IOC/GAISF will invite stakeholders of the esports/egames industry to a liaison group to explore jointly collaborative projects.
• This media release was published by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on 8 December 2018. Click here for the original.
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