Safe Sport for All

Safe Sport is an environment where athletes can train and compete in healthy and supportive surroundings; an environment which is respectful, equitable, and free from all forms of harassment and abuse.

Knowing your rights, treating others with respect, knowing how and where to report, and feeling supported in doing so all help to create a safe sport environment.

Through communication, education and raising awareness, athletes will be ready to speak up.

Seung-min Ryu, IOC Athletes’ Commission

Know your rights

Empower yourself with knowledge and awareness related to Safe Sport, including how to recognise and respond to behaviours which have no place in sport.

Treat others with respect

Be a Safe Sport role model. Learn about the role that you can play in fostering a safe sporting environment, and how your behaviour can impact others positively or negatively.

Speak up

The athletes’ voice should be heard and reflected in the initiatives designed to protect you. Find out how, as athletes, you can use your voices to work together with entourage members and sports organisations to promote a safe sporting environment in every context.

Report it

Witnessing harassment and abuse and not saying anything can give the impression that the behaviour is OK.

If you’re experiencing or if you suspect someone else is suffering from harassment and abuse, it is important that you feel supported and know how and where to report. Check out the Safe Sport Directory for your IF or NOC safeguarding policy/reporting details.

Safe Sport Directory
Safe Sport Directory

Find the details of your IF’s and/or NOC’s safeguarding policy and reporting process through our online directory.

Safeguarding Athletes from Harassment and Abuse
A course on Athlete365 Learning
Safeguarding Athletes from Harassment and Abuse
A course on Athlete365 Learning

Drawing on expert insights and first-hand experiences, the IOC Athlete Safeguarding Course will help you to better understand the signs of harassment and abuse, why it happens, and how you can play a role in safeguarding athletes.

The IOC Safe Sport Webinar Series for NOCs 2020
The programme is comprised of 11 individual webinars split into continental regions.
The IOC Safe Sport Webinar Series for NOCs 2020
The programme is comprised of 11 individual webinars split into continental regions.

This 11-part webinar series aims to assist NOCs around the world in developing and implementing safeguarding policies to better protect and support athletes.

"Never underestimate the power you have to make a difference”
"Never underestimate the power you have to make a difference”

Kikkan Randall discusses the IOC’s work in fostering a safer sporting environment.

Overcoming cultural barriers to a safe environment
Overcoming cultural barriers to a safe environment

IOC Athletes’ Commission member Seung-min Ryu shares his perspective on safe sport.

How to create an athlete-led safeguarding policy
How to create an athlete-led safeguarding policy

Lenka Dienstbach-Wech discusses her work on the prevention of harassment and abuse in sport.

Striving to safeguard athletes
Striving to safeguard athletes

Steering Committee member Marsha Cox explains how the Athletes’ Declaration can help you stay safe.

Creating a safe environment
Creating a safe environment

IOC Athletes’ Entourage Commission member Pedro Yang talks about preventing abuse in sport.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • A sporting environment free from all forms of harassment and abuse
  • Respect for everyone
  • Putting a stop to non-accidental violence
  • A fair and respectful training space with no unwelcome/unwanted attention
  • Training and competing in a healthy and supportive environment where athletes are protected from psychological abuse, physical abuse, sexual harassment, sexual abuse and neglect

Harassment and abuse can be expressed in five forms which may occur in isolation or in combination. These forms of abuse are defined here as:

  • Physical Abuse: any deliberate and/or unwelcome act that causes physical trauma or injury. This includes things such as inappropriate training loads, forced doping, training whilst in pain, punching, etc.
  • Psychological Abuse: any unwelcome act including confinement, isolation, verbal assault, humiliation, intimidation, infantilisation, or any other treatment which may diminish the sense of identity, dignity, and self-worth.
  • Sexual Harassment: any unwanted and unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, whether verbal, non-verbal or physical. Sexual harassment can take the form of sexual abuse.
  • Sexual Abuse: any conduct of a sexual nature, whether non-contact, contact or penetrative, where consent is coerced/manipulated, or is not or cannot be given.
  • Neglect: the failure of a coach (or another person with a duty of care towards the athlete) to provide a minimum level of care which is causing harm, allowing harm to be caused, or creating an imminent danger of harm.

The world of sport is a small-scale version of the world at large, and just as harassment and abuse happens in the world, it also takes place in the world of sport. Harassment and abuse in sport occurs:

  • in every country
  • to both male and female athletes
  • in every sport
  • and at every level*

*Although harassment and abuse happen at every level of sport, studies have shown that there is an increased risk to those at the elite level of sport.

Resources

Want to know more about Safe Sport? Here are some useful resources for further reading: