skip to content

Good governance is part of the Fundamental Principles of Olympism. It serves to obtain the respect and confidence of all partners. The IOC has done a lot to strengthen its principles of good governance, promoting integrity across different levels of the Olympic and sports movement. Since the adoption of Olympic Agenda 2020, which contains several recommendations on ethics and compliance, transparency and good governance, efforts in this important area have further increased. In fact, all the recommendations in this field outlined in the IOC’s strategic roadmap were implemented in 2015.

Meanwhile, the IOC has urged the reinforcement of the ethical and basic principles of good governance, including transparent and democratic decision-making processes, financial reporting and auditing as per international standards, and publication of financial reports and ethics and compliance rules, for all members of the Olympic Movement.

“The sports movement has a special responsibility in the discussion about integrity because by definition, all sports organisations stand for the values of excellence, fair-play and respect. As values-based organisations, we have the double duty to ensure that we uphold the principles of good governance in all our activities.”

Thomas Bach
IOC President, 2nd International Forum for Sports Integrity 2017

The following reference documents feature the most important universal principles for integrity in sport:

The Olympic Charter

The Olympic Charter is the codification of the fundamental principles of Olympism, and the rules and bye-laws adopted by the IOC. It governs the organisation, actions and functioning of the Olympic Movement and establishes the conditions for the celebration of the Olympic Games. Among other things, it sets the rules for election procedures, terms and age limits of IOC Members and the representation of key stakeholders.

The Code of Ethics

The Code of Ethics, which is an integral part of the Olympic Charter, is a framework of ethical principles based upon the Olympic values and principles. It provides a clear explanation of the scope of application of the code, a description of the fundamental principles of Olympism, and definitions of what constitutes integrity of conduct and integrity of competitions for the IOC and the main Olympic Movement stakeholders, as well as reporting obligations. Anti-corruption principles and definitions of conflicts of interest are contained within.

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 (NOCs) must respect the Code and its Implementing Provisions at all times and in all circumstances.

The Basic Universal Principles of Good Governance 

The Basic Universal Principles of Good Governance were approved by the XIII Olympic Congress in 2009. According to the Code of Ethics, all members of the Olympic Movement must adopt, as their minimum standard, these Basic Principles of Good Governance. They refer to:
- transparency of rules, management and managers;
- risk management;
- efficient internal communication;
- shared and controlled responsibilities;
- regular and legitimate elections;
- the right to appeal all forms of disciplinary measures; and
- the respect of minorities.

In application of Recommendation 28 of Olympic Agenda 2020, the IOC proposed a list of principles and elements to be mutually recognised and respected by the National Olympic Committee and the competent government authorities, respecting the autonomy of sports organisations on the one hand and good governance on the other. The consolidated minimum requirements for the implementation of the Basic Principles of Good Governance are also at the disposal of the NOCs and include a self-evaluation tool.

back to top Fr