Athlete Charter. The Olympic Movement reaches out to thousands of global athletes to make their voice heard

Athlete Charter to establish fundamental rights and responsibilities.

A Steering Committee of 20 athlete representatives from around the world, assembled by the Athletes’ Commission (AC) of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), today released the initial components of an Athlete Charter to address and protect the fundamental rights and responsibilities of athletes around the world.

The current draft of the Athlete Charter has been shaped by the input of almost 200 athlete representatives representing all continents across the globe. The initiative is another concrete step in the implementation of the IOC AC’s strategy. Today marks the next phase of the Athlete Charter’s development, whereby the Steering Committee is inviting elite-level athletes worldwide to share their voice and contribute to a second-phase survey that will continue to shape this important document. This aims to become the world’s largest athlete-focused survey ever commissioned.

As the sports world continues to evolve, it is more important than ever to amplify the voice of athletes and empower and protect them. This is why the Steering Committee has undertaken to create a reference document that defines the rights and responsibilities of athletes.

 “It’s about empowering athletes to succeed in their sport, making sure their voices are heard, and ensuring they have the best possible opportunities during and after their competitive careers,” said Sarah Walker, Olympic medallist, BMX racer and Chair of the 20-member Steering Committee. 

The Athlete Charter of Rights and Responsibilities aims to articulate the rights of athletes, and their responsibilities in an inspirational, yet straightforward document developed through an inclusive process. The goal is a body of fundamental principles that are both universal and flexible enough to adapt to athletes’ needs across the full range of sports and countries.

It is an athlete-driven initiative, developed by athletes, for athletes. Its development is a step-by-step and collaborative process with all stakeholders, with the content of the Athlete Charter driven by listening to athlete views worldwide.

The Steering Committee is composed of 20 athlete representatives from across the Olympic Movement, with 10 from International Federations, five from the Association of National Olympic Committees, one from the International Paralympic Committee, one from the World Olympians Association and three from the IOC AC. This Steering Committee is responsible for leading the project, spearheading its assembly and overseeing the delivery of the final Athlete Charter.

The Athlete Charter was discussed with a diverse group of more than 100 athlete representatives from the Olympic Movement at the IOC International Athletes’ Forum in November 2017. A subsequent, first-round survey was completed by nearly 200 athlete representatives to establish themes and types of rights and responsibilities to be included in the Athlete Charter.

Currently organised around five key topics, the Athlete Charter addresses the most relevant issues athletes face today. These include: 1) Integrity and Clean Sport, 2) Governance and Communication, 3) Career and Marketing, 4) Safeguarding, and 5) Sports Competition.

More specifically, the key themes of the athletes’ rights are further defined – at present – by 19 additional principles. The athletes’ responsibilities are spelled out in 16 specific statements.

The Athlete Charter marks a step forward in supporting athletes, focusing on topics that go beyond sport, and on athletes’ rights as individuals. It will be an ongoing and ever-evolving document, which will integrate updates even after its release, to ensure continuous relevance and applicability for athletes globally.

Today, elite-level athletes across all sports are invited to join the movement to further define the Athlete Charter. To join the conversation and make their voices heard, athletes are encouraged to sign up on the Athlete365 webpage. This is an unparallelled opportunity to shape one of the most important conversations in sport today. 

The International Olympic Committee is a not-for-profit independent international organisation made up of volunteers, which is committed to building a better world through sport. It redistributes more than 90 per cent of its income to the wider sporting movement, which means that every day the equivalent of 3.4 million US dollars goes to help athletes and sports organisations at all levels around the world.

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