Category Archives: Olympics

IOC marks international day of sport for development, peace

News Release

IOC MARKS INTERNATIONAL DAY OF SPORT FOR DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE WITH MESSAGE OF BRIDGE-BUILDING AND RECONCILIATION

AS THE UNITED NATIONS CELEBRATES TODAY, 6 APRIL, THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF SPORT FOR DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE (IDSDP), THE INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE (IOC) WELCOMES THE DAY WITH ITS OWN MESSAGE OF HOW SPORT CAN HELP TO BUILD BRIDGES AND PROMOTE RECONCILIATION FOR A PEACEFUL AND BETTER WORLD.

 

The UN talks about sport as a universal language that can be a powerful tool to promote peace, tolerance and understanding by bringing people together across boundaries and cultures. The overarching mission of the IOC is to put sport at the service of humankind. Unlike any other global event, the Olympic Games have the power to bring humanity, and all its diversity, together.

Contributing to building a peaceful and better world through sport is a Fundamental Principle of the Olympic Charter. The IOC cooperates extensively with partners, including NOCs and numerous United Nations agencies, as well as international governmental and non-governmental institutions, on activities and educational initiatives which use sport as a tool for development and social change, contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

At the recent Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, we witnessed the impact of the Olympic spirit on the Korean peninsula. A powerful message of peace driven by sport and athletes was seen at the Opening Ceremony, where teams from the DPRK and the Republic of Korea, separated for decades by a military border, marched side by side; or when their women’s ice hockey players competed together as a unified team.

The intrinsic values found in the Olympic spirit and sport, such as teamwork, fairness, tolerance, discipline and respect for the opponent, as well as the rules of the game, are understood all over the world and can make the impossible, possible.

THE OLYMPIC GAMES SHOWED THE WORLD HOW TO COMPETE PEACEFULLY. THEY SHOWED US THAT, DESPITE ALL OUR DIFFERENCES, IT IS POSSIBLE FOR HUMANKIND TO LIVE TOGETHER IN PEACE, RESPECT AND HARMONY.Thomas BachIOC PRESIDENT

“The power of sport is its universality, it always builds bridges, it never erects walls. Sport has played a fundamental role in creating a bridge between North and South Korea,” said the IOC President. “The Olympic Games showed the world how to compete peacefully. They showed us that, despite all our differences, it is possible for humankind to live together in peace, respect and harmony.”

Sport is an important tool for education, for example it can empower young girls and women and advance gender equality. In March 2018, the IOC released 25 recommendations of the IOC’s Gender Equality Review Project, to provide a solutions-based approach to achieving gender equality on and off the field of play, across all sports organisations in the Olympic Movement. In this year’s Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018, all sports will be fully gender balanced.

IDSDPIOC/JASON EVANS

As part of it Social Development programme, the IOC is also supporting refugees and displaced people with several specific programmes in cooperation with National Olympic Committees and governments and has created the Olympic Refuge Foundation. One of its aims is to create safe, basic and accessible sports facilities in areas where there are refugees, a displaced migrant population and internally displaced people.

Together with UNHCR, the IOC launched on 13 November 2017 the “Become the Light” campaign on the occasion of the adoption of the Olympic Truce Resolution by the UN General Assembly for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, to bring sustainable, solar powered light solutions to refugee camps. It follows the insight that many refugees in camps have no access to electric lighting, which is important for work, study and play.

The IDSDP, celebrated each year on 6 April, is an opportunity to highlight how sport can not only help unite people and encourage a culture of peace, but can also promote social development, build trust and self-belief, and establish bridges between groups in conflict.

Join the movement at #sport4betterworld and #IDSDP2018!

Visit www.olympic.org/idsdp to learn more about the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace and the IOC’s action on the ground.

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IOC President holds fruitful talks in Pyongyang with Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un – DPRK commits to participation in future Olympic Games

News Release

IOC President holds fruitful talks in Pyongyang with Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un – DPRK commits to participation in future Olympic Games

IOC President Thomas Bach was in the North Korean capital Pyongyang on Friday for meetings with political and sports leaders. Following an extensive “four eyes” meeting with Kim Jong-un, it was confirmed that the country is committed to its athletes competing at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, as well as the Summer Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 and the Winter Youth Olympic Games Lausanne 2020.

The Supreme Leader also praised President Bach and the IOC for the role they had played in mediating and bringing about an agreement for the participation of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.

During the visit, which came at the invitation of the DPRK NOC, President Bach expressed his appreciation for the participation of the DPRK NOC athletes at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. “In particular, the joint march sent a strong message of peace,” President Bach said. “Now, on the political level, the discussions can continue in the Olympic spirit of understanding and peace.  We will continue to accompany this political dialogue through sport, by helping athletes to prepare for and compete in future editions of the Olympic Games,” he said.  This support has already begun, with immediate assistance to athletes from the DPRK NOC to compete in the table tennis World Championships, which are taking place in Sweden this April.

Earlier in the day, President Bach met representatives of the DPRK NOC, led by its President, Kim Il-guk, who is also the country’s Sports Minister. In a packed agenda, President Bach also discussed the IOC’s support for the athletes and sport in the country with the two Vice-Chairmen of the Workers’ Party, Choe Hwi, who is also Chairman of the National Sports Guidance Committee, and Choe Ryong-hae, who is also Vice-Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK.

The visit finished with a dinner hosted by the President of the Praesidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly, Kim Yong-nam, who had led the DPRK delegation to the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.

As well as discussing help for and future participation of athletes, President Bach visited several sporting facilities in an impressive city-centre complex, where he met athletes, Olympians and future potential competitors in the Olympic Games, in swimming, weightlifting and table tennis. He also met the figure skating pair, Ryom Tae-ok and Kim Ju-sik, who had competed in the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.

President Bach was accompanied throughout the visit by the IOC Member from North Korea, Professor Ung Chang.

International Women’s Day – IOC setting the stage for lasting change in sport

News Release

International Women’s Day – IOC setting the stage for lasting change in sport

In support of today’s International Women’s Day and the call to action to #pressforprogress, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is launching today an overview of 25 key recommendations from its Gender Equality Review Project, which focus on changing the conversation about women in sport holistically – from participation to representation and decision-making.

Covering five key areas – sport, portrayal, funding, governance and human resources – the 25 recommendations not only create an actionable roadmap to work with all of the IOC’s partners and affiliates around the world to advance gender equality within the Olympic Movement and the global sports community, but also reflect the efforts already underway by the IOC, National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and International Federations (IFs) to promote greater participation, decision-making and leadership by women across all aspects of sport – to reflect and drive lasting change.

“We are certain that, through the implementation of the 25 IOC Gender Equality Recommendations, we as the Olympic Movement – athletes, officials, commissions, federations and executives – can take real steps to enact effective change together,” said IOC President Thomas Bach. “It is not just the right thing to do. It is in the interest of us all – the fans, the families, and every girl and woman who has been able to fully realise her dreams through athletic participation. As the leader of the Olympic Movement, the IOC has an important responsibility to take action when it comes to gender equality – a basic human right of profound importance and a fundamental principle of the Olympic Charter.”

See the overview of the 25 recommendations.

The release of the 25 recommendations today not only underscores the ongoing commitment of the IOC to achieving gender equality in all aspects of sport, but also ties into the International Women’s Day call to action to #pressforprogress on gender parity. A more detailed report will be released later in the month.

These recommendations are just the beginning of the IOC’s work towards promoting gender equality in the sports world and beyond.  While women’s participation in sport is growing, with the ratio of female athletes competing in the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 at 42 per cent being a record for the Winter Games, and, for the first time ever, equal numbers of women’s and men’s events on the last day of the Games, there is still much to be done to create lasting change in competition.

Change also goes beyond participation.  The 25 recommendations are shaping the narrative about women in sport from the inside out. In addition to providing more support for all aspects of the Games – including coaches and officials, the IOC is strongly recommending that organisations such as NOCs and IFs provide funding (including evening out prize money disparities) to promote gender equality and reflect diversity in gender within their management and membership. Without diversity in leadership, there cannot be diversity and support in policy.

As one example of spotlighting its efforts to implement the 25 recommendations, the IOC will co-host a panel discussion with UN Women, Procter & Gamble, NBC and UNESCO on the margins of the 62nd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women in New York on 14 March. The event will focus on one of the five key themes of  the recommendations – the portrayal of female athletes in the media and its implications for participation – and will feature perspectives from, among others, Olympic medallists Donna de Varona and Maia Shibutani.  The discussion will be moderated by NBC Sports anchor Andrea Joyce.

In addition, the IOC has launched the 2018 edition of the IOC Women in and Sport Awards, which are given every year to women, men or organisations who have made remarkable contributions to the development, encouragement and reinforcement of women’s participation in sport. Applications close on 16 March.

IOC confirms negative results

IOC Statement

The final notification of all remaining test results from the Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR) delegation has been received from the Doping-Free Sport Unit (DFSU).

The IOC can confirm that all the remaining results are negative.

Therefore, as stated in the Executive Board decision of 25th February the suspension of the Russian Olympic Committee is automatically lifted with immediate effect.(pr)

Request to invite 15 athletes and coaches to PyeongChang 2018 for the Olympic Athlete from Russia group declined

News Release

Request to invite 15 athletes and coaches to PyeongChang 2018 for the Olympic Athlete from Russia group declined

Based on the recommendation of the Invitation Review Panel, the Olympic Athlete from Russia Implementation Group (OAR IG) has met to discuss the request by the suspended Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) to invite 13 more athletes and two more coaches to the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.

On 2 February 2018, the suspended ROC provided a list of 15 people whose suspension had been lifted by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). Thirteen are still active athletes and two are retired athletes who competed at the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014 and are now acting as support personnel.

While the Invitation Review Panel noted the CAS’s decision of 1 February 2018, it also noted that the full reasoning for these decisions had not been made public. The Panel highlighted that its role, according to the IOC Executive Board decision of 5 December 2017, was not to establish ADRVs, but to confirm that athletes can be considered clean for a potential OAR invitation to the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. Therefore, the Panel unanimously recommended that the IOC not extend an invitation to the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 to the 15 individuals requested by the suspended ROC.

To give further assurance that all information available to the Panel had been analysed and assessed, the Panel reviewed all 13 athletes submitted by the suspended ROC for OAR invitation places using the same methodology as its initial review of 16 and 17 January 2018 − on a case-by-case basis, individually and anonymously.

Following the detailed analysis conducted by the Panel, its members observed that there were additional elements and/or evidence, which could not be considered by the IOC Oswald Commission because it was not available to it, that raised suspicion about the integrity of these athletes. The additional information included data from the LIMS database, traces of prohibited substances, evidence of steroid profile manipulation and further confidential information provided to the Panel by WADA. In addition, the Panel agreed that the decision of the CAS had not lifted the suspicion of doping or given the Panel sufficient confidence to recommend to the OAR IG that those 13 athletes could be considered as clean.

With respect to the two officials (coaches), the Panel took the view that, due to the evidence available from the Oswald Commission reports and additional information at the disposal of the Panel, these two individuals should not be considered for an invitation to attend the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.

The Invitation Review Panel is chaired by Dr Valérie Fourneyron, the Chair of the International Testing Agency (ITA) and former French Sports Minister. It includes Mr Günter Younger, Head of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Intelligence and Investigations Department; Mr Pedro Goncalves, GAISF DFSU Project Manager in charge of the Pre-Games Testing Task Force secretariat; and Dr Richard Budgett, Olympic rowing champion and IOC Medical and Scientific Director.

In a second step, the recommendation of the Invitation Review Panel was assessed and accepted by the OAR IG, which is chaired by IOC EB Member Nicole Hoevertsz and includes IOC Athletes’ Commission Member Danka Bartekova and IOC Director General Christophe De Kepper. The OAR IG confirmed that no additional invitations will be extended to these 15 individuals. The decision has been communicated to the IOC Athletes’ Commission which supports this position.

IOC Statement on CAS decision

News Release

IOC Statement on CAS decision

The IOC has taken note of the CAS decision, with satisfaction on the one hand and disappointment on the other.

On the one hand, the confirmation of the Anti-Doping Rule Violations for 11 athletes because of the manipulation of their samples clearly demonstrates once more the existence of the systemic manipulation of the anti-doping system at the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014.

On the other hand, the IOC regrets very much that – according to the CAS press release – the panels did not take this proven existence of the systemic manipulation of the anti-doping system into consideration for the other 28 cases. The CAS required an even higher threshold on the necessary level of evidence than the Oswald Commission and former CAS decisions.

This may have a serious impact on the future fight against doping. Therefore, the IOC will analyse the reasoned decisions very carefully once they are available and consider consequences, including an appeal to the Swiss Federal Tribunal.

With regard to the participation of athletes from Russia at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, the decision of the IOC Executive Board (EB) of 5 December 2017 remains in place. It makes it clear that, since the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) is suspended, Russian athletes can participate in PyeongChang only on invitation by the IOC.

The result of the CAS decision does not mean that athletes from the group of 28 will be invited to the Games. Not being sanctioned does not automatically confer the privilege of an invitation. In this context, it is also important to note that, in his press conference, the CAS Secretary General insisted that the CAS decision “…does not mean that these 28 athletes are declared innocent”.

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IOC sanctions 11 Russian athletes as part of Oswald Commission findings

News Release

IOC sanctions 11 Russian athletes as part of Oswald Commission findings

 

Today, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has published 11 new decisions from the Oswald Commission hearings, which are being conducted in the context of the Sochi 2014 forensic and analytic doping investigations.

As a result, the following Russian athletes have been sanctioned:

– Speed skaters Ivan SKOBREV and Artem KUZNETCOV

– Lugers Tatyana IVANOVA and Albert DEMCHENKO, silver medallists in Sochi 2014

– Cross-country skiers Nikita KRYUKOV, Alexander BESSMERTNYKH and Natalia MATVEEVA

– Bobsledders Liudmila UDOBKINA and Maxim BELUGIN

– Ice hockey players Tatiana BURINA and Anna SHCHUKINA

To date, the number of cases opened by the Disciplinary Commission has reached 46 after additional findings from the re-analyses. All 46 of them have been handled, of which three have been filed. As some investigations are still ongoing (notably the forensic analysis of the bottles), it cannot be excluded that there might be new elements that would justify opening further new cases and holding more hearings.

The IOC Disciplinary Commission, composed for these 11 cases of Mr Denis Oswald (Chairman), Mrs Gunilla Lindberg and Mr Patrick Baumann, decided the following:

Maxim BELUGIN, Alexander BESSMERTNYKH, Tatiana BURINA, Albert DEMCHENKO, Tatyana IVANOVA, Nikita KRYUKOV, Artem KUZNETCOV, Natalia MATVEEVA, Anna SHCHUKINA, Ivan SKOBREV, and Liudmila UDOBKINA are found to have committed anti-doping rule violations pursuant to Article 2 of The International Olympic Committee Anti-Doping Rules applicable to the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, in 2014, and are disqualified from the events in which they participated.

In addition, the 11 athletes are declared ineligible to be accredited in any capacity for all editions of the Games of the Olympiad and the Olympic Winter Games subsequent to the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014.

The reasoning for these decisions will be communicated in due course.

For further details, please consult the following factsheet.

The Disciplinary Commission, chaired by IOC Member Denis Oswald, is responsible for investigating the alleged doping violations by individual Russian athletes. Therefore, all the samples collected from Russian athletes at the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014 that were available to the IOC were re-analysed. This had two goals: to further review the samples for evidence of doping, and separately to determine if the samples themselves or the bottles were manipulated or tampered with.

Due to the nature and complexity of the cases, this thorough, comprehensive and time-consuming process has taken several months and had to involve external forensic experts, who had to develop a legally-defendable methodology for all the cases under the jurisdiction of the Oswald Commission. Due process has to be followed, and re-analysis is still underway.

The IOC showed its determination to protect clean athletes from the very beginning of the case, in July 2016, by immediately establishing the Oswald Commission and the Schmid Commission, following the publication of the McLaren report. The IOC took this extra measure as Prof. McLaren did not have the authority to bring forward Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) cases against individual athletes.

The Oswald Commission has announced that all hearings for active athletes who could qualify for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 will be completed shortly. In accordance with the World Anti-Doping Code, confidentiality has to be respected in the interests of the athletes concerned. The purpose of this work is to ensure that the International Federations (IFs) have the necessary tools to protect the qualification competitions. The outcome of the hearings will be announced as soon as possible after each individual hearing. This will allow the IFs to follow up with their own disciplinary hearings immediately, and to take the athletes concerned out of the qualification system as soon as possible.

On 5 December, the IOC Executive Board suspended the Russian NOC and created a path for clean individual athletes to compete in PyeongChang 2018 under the Olympic flag.

Click here for more information about the IOC Disciplinary commissions and the Sochi 2014 forensic and analytic investigations.