This week the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board approved the Olympic Medal Reallocation Principles that were presented by IOC Athletes’ Commission Chair Kirsty Coventry.

The Principles will provide athletes with a menu of options to receive their medals in a way that recognise their achievements.

“I can only imagine the disappointment of athletes who have had their special moment taken away due to cheating,” said the two-time Olympic champion, Kirsty Coventry.

“Today’s decision shows how highly we value that special moment and demonstrates that we are taking every possible step to ensure fair competition and recognise the achievements of clean athletes. Firstly by a comprehensive and robust retesting programme, and secondly by taking every possible step to ensure those cheated athletes receive their special moment on their terms.“

The IOC Athletes’ Commission Chair continued: “This decision once again underlines how integral athletes are to the decision-making processes within the International Olympic Committee and the big strides that are being taken to restore trust across the Olympic Movement at large.” 

Six options for athletes  

The following six options will be proposed to each athlete who is then able to choose based on their preference:

  1. The next Olympic Games (for reallocations from PyeongChang 2018 onwards)
  2. The Youth Olympic Games
  3. The IOC headquarters or Olympic Museum
  4. At a National Olympic Committee function
  5. At an International Federation event or function
  6. To have a private ceremony

Once their decision is confirmed, the IOC will work with the National Olympic Committees of each athlete with the aim of completing the ceremony within 12 months, unless the athlete chooses to have the reallocation at the next Olympic Games.

Communications of the options of the Olympic Medal Reallocation Ceremony will be provided to the athletes through their NOCs. Their respective International Federation will also be notified immediately after.

The ceremony must take place within 12 months of the official IOC announcement, or from PyeongChang 2018 onwards during the next edition of the Olympic Games. A reallocated medal from a Games of the Olympiad can only be awarded at the Games of the Olympiad and likewise for the Olympic Winter Games.  

Reallocation Procedures

In advance of the decision to reallocate a medal, the following steps will be taken:

  1. Exhaustion of all legal remedies.
  2. Where such samples are available, at least one sample from any athlete bumped up should be reanalysed and confirmed negative. If no sample is available to be re-analysed, then the athlete is given the benefit of the doubt.
  3. Athletes must return their original medals to obtain their new medals.
  4. There should be no lower limit on the original finish position of an athlete who could be considered for an Olympic medal reallocation.
  5. All final decisions will be taken by the IOC executive Board with the International Federations being responsible for the final result and ranking of the Olympic competitions in accordance with the Olympic Charter.