The FIS Council held its Autumn Meeting at the FIS Headquarters in Oberhofen (SUI) on 18th November and dealt with a full agenda relating to the current season, as well as future activities. The main subject areas comprising both the sport organisational aspects included competition calendars, proposals from the FIS Technical Committees with updates to various regulations and competition rules, appointment of technical officials and reports on the upcoming FIS World Championships and Olympic Winter Games. In addition, various important areas of the Governance of FIS were addressed, including a review of FIS financial matters and activities of the Marc Hodler Foundation.
The main decisions of the Council at its Meeting in Oberhofen include the following:
FIS competition activities
FIS World Cup calendars 2017/2018 to 2021/2022
Final versions of the FIS World Cup Calendars for the 2017/2018 season which include minor modifications proposed by the respective Technical Committees were approved and are available on the FIS website. The draft calendars for future seasons up to 2021/2022 were also acknowledged. In addition, technical delegates and international technical officials for upcoming World Championship, Olympic Winter Games and other major events were appointed.
FIS World Championships
The reports from all future FIS World Championship hosts indicate that preparations are proceeding according to schedule and the upcoming season’s FIS World Cup competitions will serve as key test events for the Åre 2019 (Alpine Events), Seefeld 2019 (Nordic Events) and Park City 2019 (Freestyle Ski and Snowboard Events).
The five applications for the 2022 and 2023 FIS World Championships were all confirmed with their presentations on Tuesday 15th May 2018 followed by the election by the Council on Thursday 17th May 2018 during the FIS Congress in Coast Navarino (GRE).
The Council set a new deadline of 31st March 2018 for candidates to submit applications to host the FIS Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championships 2023.
Appointment of other FIS World Championships
The following nations were appointed as hosts of future FIS Junior, Grass Ski and Telemark World Championships (in chronological order):
FIS Grass Ski World Championships 2018
FIS Nordic Junior World Championship 2019
FIS Roller Ski World Championship 2019
FIS Nordic Junior World Championship 2021
FIS Alpine Junior World Championship 2021
FIS Telemark World Championship 2021
FIS President Gian Franco Kasper provided a report of the IOC meetings and activities since the last Council Meeting in June. This included the IOC Executive Board meetings and 130th IOC Extraordinary Session in July, the 131st IOC Session in Lima (PER) in September and the Olympic Summit in October. In addition he updated the Council on the new candidature process for the 2026 Olympic Winter Games.
The Council also received reports from the future Winter Olympic and Youth Olympic Games hosts. The main focus was on PyeongChang 2018, which begins in less than three months, with reports also submitted from Beijing 2022 and Lausanne YOG 2020.
FIS applications to the IOC for the consideration of new events to be included on the programme of future editions of the Olympic Winter Games include:
- Ski Jumping Mixed Team Competition (3rd application)
- Ladies’ Nordic Combined Individual Competition (gender equity)
- Freestyle Ski Big Air Men’s and Ladies’ (2nd application)
A further six events have been submitted to the 2018 FIS Congress for eventual proposal to the IOC:
- Alpine Skiing Individual Parallel Event
- Freestyle Ski Aerials Mixed Team Event
- Snowboard Cross Team Event
- Snowboard Mixed Team Parallel Event
- Snowboard Parallel Slalom
- Telemark Parallel Sprint and Team Parallel Sprint
FIS Technical Committees
A number of proposals from the Technical Committees to amend rules and sport organisational aspects were approved by the Council. Of note are the following:
Cross Country Skiing
The new prize money distribution at individual World Cup and stage World Cup competitions to allow more athletes to earn prize money, increased to the top 20.
There will be no pre-qualified athletes for the competition itself with all required to participate in the qualification round. The system was successfully tested during the Summer Grand Prix 2017.
Recognition of the ‘Best Jumper’ and ‘Best Skier’ in each FIS Nordic Combined World Cup competition will be carried out with a different-coloured bib and an award at the end of the season.
Lenzerheide (SUI) was formally approved as the host of the Audi FIS Ski World Cup Finals in 2021, following their recommendation by the Sub-Committee for the Alpine World Cup.
Governance of FIS
FIS President Gian Franco Kasper informed the Council of his intention to stand for re-election at the next FIS Congress in May 2018.
The application from Jordan as an associate member of the International Ski Federation was approved, subject to ratification at the FIS Congress 2018. There are now 130 affiliated FIS Member National Ski Associations.
The proposal of the Ski Federation of Kosovo, which is presently an associate member, to be granted full membership rights will be recommended to the FIS Congress 2018.
FIS policies to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young persons will be developed to assist the National Ski Associations with their implementation, based on the IOC’s newly published Toolkit containing measures and guidelines to safeguard athletes from harassment and abuse in sport
The Council’s FIS future strategy working groups for sport, governance and financial and commercial aspects led by the FIS Vice Presidents gave their intermediary reports and they will continue their work until the FIS Congress in 2018.
The IOC Disciplinary Commission recently issued its decisions in the cases against Cross-Country skiers Alexander Lekov, Evgeniy Belov, Julia Ivanova, Evgenia Shapovalova, Alexey Petukhov and Maxim Vylegzhanin. The commission has sanctioned them with disqualification from the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, and non-eligibility for future editions of the Games.
These six athletes have previously been subject to a provisional suspension by the FIS Doping Panel as from 23 December 2016, a measure which was confirmed by the (CAS) although limited until 31 October 2017.
Following receipt of the pending reasoned decision of the IOC Disciplinary Commission, the FIS Doping Panel will undertake the necessary steps in complete accordance with the FIS Anti-Doping Rules, affording the athletes the right of due legal process and convening personal hearings.
The procedures will take into consideration the impending FIS Cross-Country World Cup season which begins at the end of November 2017. A media communication with the status of the cases will be issued by FIS on Thursday 23 November 2017.
The Council welcomed the recent founding and goals of the Independent Testing Authority (ITA) under the lead of the IOC in collaboration with the International Federations, and noted that FIS is playing an active role in the establishment of the new structure.
FIS Development Programme and FIS Solidarity support
The activities and budget for the 2018 FIS Development Programme, which consists of 37 FIS member National Ski Associations, were confirmed. Applications for financial support from FIS Solidarity for 11 special projects from the National Ski Associations were also approved.
FIS Congress 2018
Preparations for the 51st FIS Congress in Costa Navarino (GRE) are progressing well with more than 1’000 participants expected. 65 proposals for consideration at the Congress have been submitted by the National Ski Associations.
Get into Snow Sport - China
The Council was briefed on the latest action points with the Get Into Snow Sports China campaign, which is being carried out by the FIS Academy. It has the goal of contributing to increasing participation in snow sports towards the Chinese Government’s goal of 300 million new participants ahead of the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing.
Bring Children to Snow Campaign - FIS World Snow Day
The seventh FIS World Snow Day will take place on 21st January 2018 following the extremely successful developments and national engagement since the inaugural edition in 2012.
Honorary Membership of the Grass Ski Committee was bestowed on Achille Cattaneo (ITA) and Helmut Gruber (AUT) who served as expert for 28 years.