IOC Executive Board tackles issues on International Federations and National Olympic Committees
On its second day of meetings in Lausanne, Switzerland, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board (EB) discussed issues regarding International Federations (IFs) and National Olympic Committees (NOCs).
The IOC EB recognised the concrete steps taken by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) to address the actions specified by the IOC Executive Board in December 2017 and to strengthen the IWF anti-doping programme and change cultural attitudes towards doping in high-risk countries. Such strong initiatives include the IWF's newly designed Tokyo 2020 Qualification System, which links the number of quota places available per NOC to their history of doping offences, and the implementation of a greatly strengthened IWF anti-doping programme. While these measures represent a positive step forward, it is critical that IOC EB continues to monitor the full implementation of these changes and verify their positive impact on reducing the incidence of doping cases in weightlifting. Consequently, the IOC EB has decided to maintain the status of conditional inclusion of weightlifting in the sports programme of the Olympic Games Paris 2024 and base further review on the assessment of the effectiveness of the anti-doping programmes throughout this year (including the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 and the IWF Weightlifting World Championships in November). The IOC EB will discuss the IWF status again at its meeting in Tokyo from 30 November to 2 December 2018.
The IOC EB received a report on the International Boxing Association (AIBA) situation and highlighted its significant ongoing concern with a number of key areas, including governance and ethical and financial management, which require further information and confirmation. Due to the urgency of ensuring strong and positive steps towards addressing these issues, the IOC EB decided to maintain its position, which includes the continued suspension of financial contributions from the IOC to AIBA and the right to review the inclusion of boxing on the programme of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. A further review of AIBA's status will be conducted by the IOC EB at its meeting in Tokyo, following the AIBA Congress scheduled for 2 and 3 November.
Noting the importance of the embezzlement allegations against the President of the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (ICSD), which is the international governing body for deaf sport and the event owner of the Summer and Winter Deaflympics, the EB decided to withhold all financial payments to the ICSD and any invitations to the ICSD President to the Olympism in Action Forum in Buenos Aires until the situation is appropriately addressed to the full satisfaction of the EB. A further report on the case will be heard during its next meeting on 3 and 4 October.
The International Ice Stock Sport Federation (IFI) was granted provisional IOC recognition by the EB. This IF will now be able to receive funding from the IOC and can apply for development programmes. Full IOC recognition must be granted by the IOC Session after the probation period.
Update on NOCs
The IOC EB also heard a report from the IOC Deputy Director General, Pere Miró, one to the ongoing suspension of the NOC of Kuwait.
Following a visit to Kuwait last week by an IOC-led Olympic Movement delegation (made up of IOC, the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) and Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) representatives), it was reported that there have been positive exchanges with the representatives of the Kuwaiti government and other stakeholders.
It was agreed that new exchanges will be made to clarify certain points concerning the current sports law in Kuwait in order to be sure that it is totally in line with the Olympic Charter, and to agree on a roadmap that must lead to fresh elections in the Kuwait National Federations (under the respective IFs' supervision) and the Kuwait NOC.
The EB agreed to review the situation with regard to these points, which, if successfully clarified, could lead to the provisional lifting of the suspension of the NOC. This would eventually open the door to a full lifting of the suspension, once the agreed roadmap has been fully implemented.
The IOC was informed of the difficulties encountered by the delegation of Kosovo in participating in the European Senior Karate Championships in Serbia in May 2018. All sports institutions directly involved in the preparation of this event did their best to ensure that the delegation of Kosovo would be able to participate in this event. An agreement was reached prior to the event with the Serbian government in this respect. Unfortunately, due to last-minute operational and procedural issues, the participation of Kosovo was not made possible. It was difficult to categorically determine the reason why the practical implementation of the agreement failed. This shows that, in spite of good intentions from all sides concerned, the political situation between Serbia and Kosovo makes it extremely difficult in practice for both countries to host an international sporting event involving athletes from this region. Consequently, the IOC will inform all international sports organisations to carefully consider this before allocating any sporting events in the region. As the athletes from Kosovo were unable to participate in the competition, the IOC will examine how the negative consequences of their non-participation can be minimised.
The EB appointed four members to the International Council of Arbitration for Sport (ICAS) who are fully independent from the IOC: Justice Yvonne Mokgoro, Judge Hanqin Xue, Judge Patrick Lipton Robinson and Dr Elisabeth Steiner.
ITA in Buenos Aires
The EB approved the Anti-Doping Rules for the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 in October and confirmed the transfer of authority to the International Testing Agency (ITA), which has started operating out of its offices in Lausanne.
The ITA has been delegated with a number of responsibilities set forth in the Anti-Doping Rules, which include initiating and undertaking testing activities in Buenos Aires, determining whether or not an Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) has occurred and, in such case, bringing the case before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
Olympic Movement engagement
EB Member and Chair of the IOC Athletes' Commission Kirsty Coventry gave a presentation about the development of the Athlete Charter of Rights and Responsibilities (Athlete Charter). The first draft of the Athlete Charter, shaped by the input of almost 200 athlete representatives from across the world, was released last month. The second-phase survey was launched last week to collect feedback from elite-level athletes worldwide and, within the first week, has already received more than 550 contributions. In consultation with various stakeholders, including the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC), ASOIF, the Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations (AIOWF) and the IFs, the Steering Committee leading the work will continue to engage directly with athletes and reach out to stakeholders to maintain dialogue around the implementation. The final version of the document will be presented to the IOC Session in Buenos Aires in October.
For its part, the AIOWF commended the new IOC approach of including more stakeholders in the Debrief of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 in Beijing, China. All seven Winter Sports Federations were highly involved and also enjoyed the opportunity to review the progress of preparations for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.
Another debrief of PyeongChang 2018 was conducted by ANOC, which circulated a survey to its members about the preparations for and participation in the recent Olympic Winter Games.
Changes of nationality
Two athletes had their changes of nationality approved: Benjamin Fletcher (judo) switched from Great Britain to Ireland; and Nikita Glasnovic (taekwondo), from Sweden to Croatia. In both cases, the relevant NOCs and IFs agreed with the changes.