A two-day meeting of international athletes, gathered at the initiative of the IOC Athletes' Commission, has concluded in Lausanne with support for the fight against doping and a recognition of the role that athletes can play in educating young people.
Led by Olympic gold medallist, six-times pole vault world champion and recently elected IOC Athletes' Commission Chairman Sergey Bubka, this first International Athletes' Forum gathered together Athletes' Commissions of International Federations (IFs) and Continental NOC Associations, thus strengthening links between the sports bodies and establishing a communication network between athletes. IFs which do not have an Athletes' Commission were also given the opportunity to send an athletes' representative, and there was a total of 56 participants from 30 out of the 35 Olympic International Federations and all five Continental NOC Associations.
On conclusion of the discussions on doping, the participants agreed on the need for athletes to assume total responsibility for the intake of any substance that could result in a positive doping test; encouraged sports authorities to provide proper documentation for asthmatic conditions and testing prior to competition; and endorsed the position of not allowing the use of oxygen tents. On discussion about the way athletes manage their career once they retire from competition, it was acknowledged that athletes had an important role to play in educating young people and that this would give them the chance to contribute to the promotion of the sport that launched their careers. This idea was implemented on Sunday afternoon when young promising athletes from local sports clubs were given the opportunity to meet the athletes attending the Forum during a Q&A session.
Commenting on the outcome of the Forum, Sergey Bubka said: 'I am very pleased with the conclusions of this Forum. For the first time, athletes were given the opportunity to get across their messages and clearly express the need for them to be more involved in the decision-making process of sporting organisations. We are looking forward to reviewing the progress of these constructive discussions at the next forum.'
Meanwhile, as we reported in Making Waves 119, which was published yesterday, ISAF President Paul Henderson comments on the IOC's recent recommendations on the reduction of events and athletes at the Olympic Games. The full story can be read in Making Waves, via the link below.