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IOC adopts Consensus Statement on sexual harassment and abuse in sport

08/02/2007

The Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) today adopted a Consensus Statement on “Sexual Harassment and Abuse in Sport” (see full document below).
 
This unique document defines the problems, identifies the risk factors and provides guidelines for prevention and resolution. The aim of the Consensus is to improve the health and protection of athletes through the promotion of effective preventive policy as well as to increase the awareness of these problems among the people in the entourage of the athletes.
 
Research indicates that sexual harassment and abuse happen in all sports and at all levels, with a greater prevalence in elite sport.  Members of the athlete’s entourage who are in positions of power and authority appear to be the primary perpetrators.  Research also demonstrates that sexual harassment and abuse in sport seriously and negatively impact athletes’ physical and psychological health.  They can damage performance and lead to athlete drop-out. 
 
Based on this information and in its role of promoting and protecting the health of athletes, the IOC Medical Commission (MC) held a conference on “Sexual Harassment & Abuse in Sport” in October 2006 in Lausanne. This meeting was chaired by Professor Arne Ljungqvist, IOC Member and Chairman of the IOC MC, and coordinated by Margo Mountjoy M.D., Member of the IOC MC.
 
Programme consultants included sports sociologist and former national coach Celia Brackenridge of the UK, and former athlete and President of Women’s Sport International, Professor Kari Fasting of Norway. 
 
A panel of participants composed of leading sports psychologists, sociologists, psychiatrists and policy experts from around the world and an elite athlete advocate attended to review the scientific literature and to produce safe guidelines for the prevention of and early intervention in cases of Sexual Harassment and Abuse in Sport.
   
The Role of the IOC Medical Commission
With the establishment of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the IOC Medical Commission’s role has moved from primarily handling anti-doping activities in the world of sport to taking an active role in the promotion of the health of athletes. To this end, a series of consensus meetings have been scheduled covering the following issues:
·         Sex Reassignment in Sport 2003
·         Nutrition in Sport 2003
·         Sudden Cardiovascular Death in Sport 2004
·         Female Athlete Triad 2005
·         Training the Elite Child Athlete 2005
·         Sexual Harassment & Abuse in Sport 2006
 
Download Consensus Statement :
 
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 For more information please contact the IOC Communications Department, Tel: +41 21 621 60 00, email: pressoffice@olympic.org

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