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22 Jun 2005
IOC News

Is there life after sport?

This question, which many athletes ask themselves, was one of three themes discussed at the 2nd International Athletes’ Forum organised recently at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne. Also at the centre of discussions were economic factors affecting athletes in sport, and doping - safeguarding the athletes.

Led by Sergey Bubka, Olympic champion, six-time pole vault world champion and Chairman of the IOC Athletes’ Commission, the Forum brought together almost 70 participants from 32 out of the 35 International Olympic Sports Federations and all five Continental Associations of NOCs, who adopted a series of recommendations on the three themes.

Combining education and sport
On the fundamental issue of reintegration after a sporting career, the participants agreed to remind every athlete that it is his or her personal responsibility to take the steps necessary to combine education and sport and prepare for life after sport. They also asked the IOC to urge the NOCs to fulfil their responsibilities towards athletes and provide career planning for them. This should include educational and/or employment placements (during and after their career). Everyone praised the signing of the agreement between the IOC and Adecco, which centres around a worldwide programme aimed at facilitating athletes’ reintegration into the workplace.

Making athletes’ voices heard in the fight against doping
The Forum encouraged all NOCs and IFs to set up athletes’ commissions so that athletes can influence the decision-making process and ensure that messages on doping are disseminated and supported. On the issue of sanctions, it was recommended recognising and putting in place strict sports-related sanctions and/or penalties for athletes and also for doctors, coaches or sporting bodies found guilty of being involved with doping.

Harmonisation of sporting calendars
Debating the issue of positive and negative economic factors affecting athletes in sport, the participants recognised the need to harmonise sporting calendars. The athletes were also supportive of the modernisation of their sport as long as the soul and nature of their sport is not altered.

Athletes, the Olympic Movement’s first priority
Addressing this Forum, IOC President Jacques Rogge recalled the importance of the athletes’ role in the Olympic Movement, and reiterated the IOC’s full support for those who represent the Movement’s first priority.


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