IOC Athletes’ Forum ends with calls for tough action on doping

IOC Press Release Tuesday 11 October 2011: Forum recommends lifetime bans for ‘deliberate and aggravated doping offences’ and tougher action on coaches and doctors involved in illegal practices. Colorado Springs 10th October 2011 (IOC Athletes Forum). The fifth International Athletes’ Forum ended in Colorado Springs with a series of strong recommendations for the IOC to take action in a number of areas affecting athletes.

In the presences of the IOC President Jacques Rogge, eight separate working groups made a series of recommendations.
Athletes’ representatives reported back to the closing plenary session on a series of subject areas including: Athlete’s Entourage (those surrounding and advising athletes including coaches and doctors); Communications and Social Media; Athletes’ Career Programme; Health Safety and Security of Athletes; Anti-doping; Betting and Gambling; Games Time

Experience; and on the Athletes Commissions themselves.
On the Athletes’ entourage recommendations were made calling for the size of entourages to be controlled during important events, and for those members of the entourage to face, investigation and sanctions if athletes in their care are also facing action.

But perhaps the strongest recommendations came from the working group on anti-doping.
The recommendation was that athletes ‘convicted of a deliberate and aggravated doping offences should receive a lifetime Olympic ban’.  And that ‘coaches doctors and any other members of an athletes’ entourage found to be taking part in illegal doping practices must be convicted and sanctioned. ‘

The IOC’s Athletes Forum consists of representatives of the various commissions of International Federations, National Olympic Committees International Paralympic Committee, Continental Associations and WADA, and is designed to give them a strong voice within the Olympic movement. The recommendations will be put to the Executive Board of the IOC for final approval.

Chairman of the IOC’s Athletes’ Commission Frankie Fredericks praised those present for their hard work and welcomed the recommendations.  ‘It is important to take note of the strong and growing voice that athletes have in the Olympic movement,’ he said. ‘We are right to put the athletes at the centre of our activities and we should take action when they speak so clearly and powerfully on topics that crucially affect them.’

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