Sport has long been recognised as a major contributor to positive health and well-being for participants; however, as a microcosm of society, sport is not immune from wider societal ills.
The IOC firmly believes that harassment and abuse have no place in sport or in society, and advocates for safe sport, as the safety and wellbeing of athletes are paramount.
Sport is global, crossing cultures and laws, but there is only one culture that must apply: the culture of respect.
Since 2004, the IOC has been developing programmes and initiatives to safeguard athletes from harassment and abuse in sport.
The IOC prevention of harassment and abuse in sport (PHAS) initiatives have been established by the following four IOC Commissions:
- Athletes’ Commission
- Athletes’ Entourage Commission
- Medical and Scientific Commission
- Women in Sport Commission
These IOC Commissions are represented on the IOC Prevention of Harassment and Abuse in Sport (PHAS) Working Group, which is chaired by HRH Prince Feisal Al-Hussein. The IOC PHAS Working Group collaborates with subject matter experts and Olympic Movement stakeholders to develop and implement initiatives to safeguard athletes from harassment and abuse in sport.
Safeguarding: Measures and initiatives which are put in place to PREVENT harassment and abuse
"We must be more determined than ever to protect athletes. One case is one case too many. Together we can make a difference"
- HRH Prince Feisal Al Hussein, Jordan - IOC Member; IOC Women in Sport Commission Vice-Chair & IOC Prevention of Harassment and Abuse in Sport Working Group Chair
What constitutes harassment and abuse?
In the IOC Consensus Statement: Harassment and Abuse in Sport (2016), experts identified five forms of harassment and abuse:
All forms of harassment and abuse are detrimental to athlete welfare and are against the Olympic values. For the full definitions of harassment and abuse as noted in the IOC Consensus Statement: Harassment and abuse in sport (2016), please click here.
What is the basis for the IOC PHAS initiatives?
The safeguarding of athletes is embedded in the overarching fundamental principles of Olympism found in the Olympic Charter, as well as other foundational documents of the Olympic Movement, including:
- Olympic Agenda 2020, Recommendation 18: Strengthen support to athletes
- IOC Code of Ethics - Article 1.4
- Basic Universal Principles of Good Governance of the Olympic and Sports Movement – Article 6.2
- IOC Olympic Movement Medical Code – Article 1.1.1
- The IOC Athletes’ Rights and Responsibilities Declaration
IOC Safe Sport initiatives
The IOC Safe Sport initiatives can be split into three main areas. Click on the links to find out more: