Doping and the athlete's role with respect to young people were concluded as the two major points of debate at the first International Athletes Forum.
The first International Athletes' Forum brought together athletes from across the world last weekend in Lausanne. At the end of their discussions, the participants arrived at two main conclusions: the first concerning doping and the second their role with respect to young people.
On doping issues, 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 perform pre-competition testing and provide proper documentation for asthmatic conditions; and endorsed the position of not allowing the use of oxygen tents.
Discussing 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.
The IOC President, as well as IOC members Sergey Bubka, Charmaine Crooks, Robert Cvrtlik, Manuela Di Centa, Kipjoge Keino, Prince Albert of Monaco, Peter Tallberg, Hein Verbruggen and Pernilla Wiberg were also present.
Commenting on the outcome of the Forum, Sergey Bubka, IOC Athletes' Commission Chairman 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."
Michaela Ward (DEN) attended the forum on behalf of ISAF. Michaela is a member of the ISAF Sailing Committee and Women's Forum and a well-known international 470 sailor, who would regularly be found amongst the top ten in the world rankings and has competed at both the 2000 and 1996 Olympic Regattas.