IOC Athletes’ Commission launches consultation on athlete demonstrations

The IOC Athletes’ Commission (AC) has started a consultation process with athletes from around the world, to explore additional ways in which you can express your views during the Olympic Games. 

  • Earlier this year, we published the Rule 50 Guidelines after athlete consultation, to provide clarity on the existing opportunities you have to express your views at the Games.
  • Just recently and building on existing opportunities, the IOC AC has launched a consultation process with athletes and athlete representatives, to explore new ways to express your views during the Games while respecting the Olympic spirit.
  • The IOC AC consultation will be undertaken mainly with the global network of athlete representatives but also directly with athletes.

Background to Rule 50

In 2019, we consulted with the global athlete community while drafting the Rule 50 Guidelines, which were then published earlier this year. The guidelines are intended to provide clarity on the existing opportunities you have to express your views at the Olympic Games, and where it is not appropriate to do so. 

The opportunities that already exists to express yourself during the Games include:

  • mixed zones at the Olympic venues;
  • press conferences and interviews;
  • traditional and digital media or other platforms.

The expression of views in these spaces should still be respectful and in line with the Olympic values.

A truly global consultation

Racism or any form of discrimination has no place in sport. The Olympic Games are a very powerful global demonstration of inclusion and the fight against racism, bringing together athletes from all over the world from 206 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and the IOC Refugee Olympic Team.

The IOC AC has already started the consultation process by holding calls with the ACs of NOCs and International Federations (IFs) that had asked to be involved, to discuss key issues related to athlete protests and gather initial feedback.

We encourage all NOC and IF ACs to consult and engage with athletes within their local and sporting contexts, and discuss the results with the IOC AC. In doing this, we aim both to empower athletes’ commissions around the world in their roles and to obtain a truly global perspective. We have seen that a lot of work is underway already with surveys being conducted by a number of NOCs and debates and webinars being initiated by others.

Once we have collated the initial thoughts and feedback from these regional and sport-specific consultations, we plan to launch a global survey this autumn to collect feedback from athletes from all over the world. This will be a mixed quantitative and qualitative survey to ensure that we capture all the nuances of the topic.

As well as your thoughts on the existing and potential new opportunities to express your views at the Games, we would like to hear your fresh ideas on how the IOC, the Olympic Games, and the global athlete community can amplify the voices of athletes everywhere, and ultimately better support our efforts to tackle racism and discrimination.

Learn more here about the Consultation Framework and its Timeline.

We are appealing to athletes from around the world to share your views and ideas on this important topic, as well as any thoughts you may have on how the Olympic Movement can tackle racism and discrimination. Athletes’ commissions can contact for support and feedback.