Category Archives: Olympics

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.

In the wake of Rio’s “Marvellous Games”, Tokyo makes strong strides towards 2020

Press Release

In the wake of Rio’s “Marvellous Games”, Tokyo makes strong strides towards 2020

The International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Coordination Commission for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 today completed its third official visit to the Japanese capital (1-2 December). The Commission acknowledged the organisers’ significant progress in Games preparations, as well as their commitment to quickly finalise the venue master plan and integrate the five new sports approved during the IOC Session in Rio de Janeiro into their plans.

Building on the success of the Olympic Games Rio 2016 and an internationally acclaimed handover ceremony, Tokyo 2020 showcased over the last two days how its state of the art facilities will offer a unique Olympic and Paralympic experience to the world’s best athletes in 2020. The Coordination Commission also heard about the proposed venues for the sports of baseball/softball, karate, skateboard, sports climbing and surfing, which were included on the Tokyo 2020 programme following a proposal by the Tokyo organisers in response to the new opportunity provided by Olympic Agenda 2020.

“We are very pleased with the significant progress that has been achieved since the last visit of the Coordination Commission to Tokyo,” said the Chair of the Coordination Commission, John Coates. “We have seen that President Mori, Governor Koike, Minister Marukawa and Minister Matsuno all share a common desire to deliver outstanding Olympic Games in 2020 for the athletes and for the people of Tokyo and Japan. The IOC and all of the Japanese partners are rowing in the same direction. Our continued close collaboration will ensure that the venue masterplan is finalised quickly; that the significant savings in the Games budget are delivered; and that the local population is left with an important positive legacy from these Games.”

He continued, “It is particularly pleasing that the revenues of Tokyo 2020 have increased significantly, which will support the achievement of a balanced Organising Committee budget. For the other components relative to the overall budget, we are convinced that significant savings will be made.”

The Coordination Commission welcomed the outcome of the discussions of the Four-Party Working Group, including confirmation of the Sea Forest and Aquatics venues, while the volleyball venue is expected to be finalised soon. It also noted the progress that has been made over the last month towards achieving further cost savings for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, with an additional amount of over USD 400 million having been saved on venue construction, which comes on top of the approximately USD 1.8 billion savings made on the revised construction budget last year.

The President of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, Yoshiro Mori, said, “During the IOC Coordination Commission meetings over the past two days, we were able to hold productive discussions on various aspects of preparations for the Games with the members of the Commission, led by Chairman John Coates. The Commission gave a very positive evaluation of our overall progress in each area of the Games.

“The word ‘integration’ was emphasised. With the growing number of Tokyo 2020 staff members, it is indeed the key element of our organisation – how to operate as ‘one team’.  The Commission provided us with some valuable ideas about how to make the best use of the remaining three years and eight months until the Tokyo 2020 Games.

“We firmly believe that sport has the power to change the world and the future. With this as Tokyo 2020’s vision, we will continue making best efforts to prepare for and deliver successful Games.”

The finalisation of the venues and the optimisation of their design mark another important step towards the shaping of a strong legacy, not only in Tokyo but in Japan as a whole. The engagement of the Japanese population towards the Games is mounting, as was demonstrated by the over 800,000 people who gathered in the streets of Tokyo to give the 87 Japanese medallists and their teammates from the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games an ecstatic homecoming a few months ago. This event undoubtedly provided a taste of the kind of scenes the athletes can expect when the capital hosts the Olympic and Paralympic Games in four years’ time. The same enthusiasm is accompanying the Olympic flag tour that is currently travelling around the country.

Strong engagement and high interest in the Games are also being displayed by the Japanese business community, with Tokyo 2020’s success in signing 42 domestic partners (15 Tier 1 and 27 Tier 2) so far underlining the Japanese economy’s strong support for the 2020 Games.

The coming year will be another important sporting one for Tokyo 2020. The Tokyo organisers will be in Lausanne next week to present for IOC approval the venues of the five new sports that were presented to the Coordination Commission this week. These new venues, which are a mix of temporary and existing venues, have been selected with a view to the experience of the athletes; efficiency of planning and delivery; and their legacy. The final list of events on the Olympic sports programme of the 2020 Games is then due to be agreed upon by the IOC in summer 2017.

The two-day visit by the Commission covered a number of topics, including Tokyo 2020’s experience and observation of the Olympic Games Rio 2016, sport, NOC Services, Olympic Village, people management, engagement, sustainability, spectator experience, venues and the Paralympics. The Commission’s fourth visit to Tokyo is scheduled for June 2017.

PRRD sends off team Ph to Rio Olympics, vows more support for athletes

MANILA (Presidential Communications Office) — President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Monday led government officials in the send-off ceremony for the Philippine delegation to the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

“Just try your best, and the conscious mind would always be in the direction of love of country,” the President told the members of Team Philippines, adding that “of the 100 million Filipinos plus, few are given the opportunity to be a part of a team or to be working for government and it’s not given to everybody.”

The President vowed that he will exert efforts to source funds for the athletes by instituting reforms in government agencies and using public funds for the good of all Filipinos.

Six of the 12 Rio Olympians were present during the momentous event, namely: long jumper Maristela Torres, golfer Miguel Tabuena, taekwondo jin Kirstie Elaine Alora, weightlifters Hidilyn Diaz and Nestor Colonia, and table tennis player Ian Lariba. The other six athletes are training abroad.

During the send-off, President Duterte also increased the individual allowance of the delegates to the quadrennial games, which he hopes would boost the morale of the Rio-bound athletes.

Leading the country’s sports officials during the ceremony at Malacanan Palace were Philippine Sports Commission chairman William “Butch” Ramirez, Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Jose “Peping” Cojuangco, and Jose “Joey” Romasanta, POC first vice president who is also the Chef-de-Mission for the Philippine delegation.

To date, the highest honor garnered by the country from the Olympics were two silver medals, both in boxing. Anthony Villanueva gave the Philippines its first silver medal at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, and 32 years later, Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco captured the silver during the 1996 Atlanta Games. PND