The International Olympic Committee adopted the Athletes’ Rights and Responsibilities Declaration during its Session in Buenos Aires (ARG). The ground-breaking document was formed following an extensive process that gathered the views and opinions of more than 4,200 elite athletes from 190 countries.
The initiative was led by a Steering Committee, chaired by Olympian and BMX racer Sarah Walker. The Steering Committee is composed of 20 athlete representatives from across the Olympic Movement, including FIS Council member and Vice-Chair of the FIS Athletes Commission, Hannah Kearney.
Setting out the fundamental principles that are flexible enough to adapt to athletes’ needs across sports and countries, the Athletes’ Declaration includes 12 rights and 10 responsibilities, exploring topics such as anti-doping, integrity, clean sport, career, communications, governance, discrimination, due process, and harassment and abuse.
Inspired by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other internationally recognised human rights standards, it outlines a common set of aspirational rights and responsibilities for athletes in the Olympic Movement.
“I am truly proud of what we have achieved together. The Athletes’ Declaration is a document driven by the athlete community and represents an historic moment for the recognition of athletes’ rights and responsibilities globally”, outlined Kirsty Coventry, Chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission.
The idea of an Athletes’ Declaration was sparked in early 2017 and discussed among various Athletes’ Commissions. Its development and delivery is part of the implementation of the IOC Athletes’ Commission Strategy. A first-round survey was completed by nearly 200 athlete representatives from 66 countries and 77 sports disciplines, to establish themes and types of rights and responsibilities to be included in the Athletes’ Declaration.
The Steering Committee released a second survey in July 2018 that built upon the findings from the first one: 4,292 participants from 190 countries and more than 120 sports disciplines (including all 91 Olympic and Paralympic disciplines) completed it and shared their voices on the different topics. In parallel, consultations with stakeholders from across the Olympic Movement and beyond was initiated.