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Guardian of the ethical principles

The Ethics Commission was created in 1999 by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in order to safeguard the ethical principles of the Olympic Movement. These principles are set out in the Code of Ethics.

This independent Commission is made up of nine members, of whom the majority are personalities who are not active IOC members, and of whom at least two are not directly linked with sport. The Chair, Vice-Chair and members of the Ethics Commission are elected by the IOC Session, for a renewable term of four years.

The Commission’s Activities

The Ethics Commission has two functions:

It draws up and continuously updates the ethical principles, including in particular the Code of Ethics, as well as specific implementing provisions based on the values and principles enshrined in the Olympic Charter.

It conducts investigations into breaches of ethics submitted to it and, where necessary, makes recommendations for measures or sanctions to the IOC Executive Board and/or the IOC Session; these recommendations remain confidential until the IOC Executive Board makes a decision. All decisions taken are published on www.olympic.org.

The Commission is located in the Villa du Centenaire, in Lausanne. It meets at least twice a year, and more frequently if the urgency of the files demands it.

The Ethics and Compliance Office

The Ethics and Compliance Office was created in 2015 in line with one of the Olympic Agenda 2020 recommendations.

Its mission is primarily preventive, by means of education and information regarding the ethical principles, but also advisory, for the whole Olympic Movement, in order to help achieve better application of the ethical principles and rules. In all cases, this advice remains confidential.

The second mission, if any failure to comply with the ethical principles is suspected, is to perform an initial compliance analysis and, in serious cases where the suspicion seems founded, to refer such cases to the Ethics Commission.

The Rules of Procedure (published in the Code of Ethics) ensure the transparency of the procedure and the right to due process of the people concerned.

To whom do the Code of Ethics and Implementing Provisions apply?

The Code of Ethics and all the Implementing Provisions must be respected by the various stakeholders of the Olympic Movement under the circumstances defined in the Preamble to the Code of Ethics. The IOC members, the IOC administration and the National Olympic Committees must respect the Code and its Implementing Provisions at all times and in all circumstances.

Who are the Olympic Movement stakeholders?

• the IOC, its members and administration;
• the National Olympic Committees (NOCs);
• the cities that wish to organise the Olympic Games and the Youth Olympic Games;
• the Organising Committees for the Olympic Games and the Youth Olympic Games;
• all those taking part in the Olympic Games and the Youth Olympic Games, in particular the athletes and their entourage, the NOC and International Sports Federation (IF) delegations, the referees, the judges, etc.
• the IFs;
• and all the sports organisations recognised by the IOC.

Who can refer a case?

The Ethics Commission cannot refer cases to itself, but cases are referred to it by the Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer when there is a suspicion of non-compliance with the Code of Ethics. To this end, anyone can give information concerning suspected non-compliance to the Ethics and Compliance Office. The Integrity and Compliance Hotline can be used to facilitate this consultation.