Olympic Doping Summit Posts Five Point Plan to Ensure Level Playing Field for Rio Athletes

Sun, 06/26/2016 - 23:16
FEI News

Declaration of the Olympic Summit: The protection of the clean athletes and the fight against doping is and will remain a top priority for all the stakeholders of the Olympic Movement: the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Federations (IFs) and the National Olympic Committees (NOCs).

This includes a zero-tolerance policy with regard to doping, which was re-confirmed by all participants. For this purpose, an annual amount of an estimated half a billion USD is spent, and approximately 300,000 doping tests are carried out every year.

The worldwide fight against doping is the responsibility of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), founded on the initiative of the IOC in 1999. Governments of the world and the Olympic Movement are sharing the engagement in and funding of WADA equally.

WADA is the sole authority to issue declarations of non-compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code. All Olympic IFs are in compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code. At this moment, three National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs) – Kenya, Russia and Spain – are non-compliant for different reasons. The non-compliance declaration of the Spanish NADO is for administrative reasons only and does not affect the doping-control system.

The sports organisations, in each individual case, based on the reasons for non-compliance, have to decide on the consequences of such declaration. With regard to participation in the Olympic Games, it is up to the IFs only to decide on the technical eligibility of athletes, in particular in relation to doping issues. Only NOCs can enter athletes to the Olympic Games, selecting from the IF pool of eligible athletes.

To provide a level playing field for all clean athletes at the Olympic Games Rio 2016, the IOC has already put special measures in place. These were strongly supported by all stakeholders during today’s Olympic Summit:

  • The IOC is re-analysing stored samples from the Olympic Games Beijing 2008 and London 2012 following an intelligence-gathering process, which started in August 2015.
  • The IOC is performing an extensive pre-Olympic Games testing programme for Rio 2016. This is a target-oriented programme based on extensive intelligence-gathering by WADA. This programme comes on top of the extensive efforts already being carried out by the IFs and National Anti-Doping Organisations. The IOC has doubled the budget for the pre-Olympic testing programme for Rio 2016.
  • As part of Olympic Agenda 2020, the IOC has committed an extra USD 10 million to fund research pertaining to anti-doping for the protection of athletes.

To strengthen these measures to ensure a level playing field for all athletes participating in the Olympic Games Rio 2016, the IOC has convened this Olympic Summit. The Olympic Summit discussed questions which affect the eligibility of athletes, in particular with regard to the balance between collective responsibility and individual justice. In this context, neither the IOC, nor the IFs, nor the NOCs have full discretionary power. This principle was applied by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) when it declared a rule of the IOC, which would have kept doped athletes away from the next edition of the Olympic Games (Osaka Rule) null and void.

As a result, the Olympic Summit unanimously agreed on the following actions:

  • To fully respect the decision of the IAAF Council with regard to the specific situation of track and field in Russia as outlined in the report and recommendations of the IAAF Task Force. The Olympic Summit appreciates the IAAF acknowledgement of “the enormous efforts and professionalism of (…) the Russian Olympic Committee”, which led to “significant progress towards satisfaction of the verification criteria to date”.
  • The IFs and NOCs to undertake all efforts to keep doped athletes away from the Olympic Games Rio 2016. This requires IFs in particular to take swift action to suspend all athletes who have infringed anti-doping rules following the re-testing programme of samples from the Olympic Games Beijing 2008 and London 2012.
  • All NOCs and IFs should sanction not only doped athletes, but also their coaches, officials, doctors or any other persons implicated. They should in addition not request accreditation for the Olympic Games for any person currently implicated in an anti-doping rule violation. The IOC to take appropriate measures to the same effect.
  • Because of the WADA non-compliance declaration of Kenya and Russia and the related substantial allegations, the Olympic Summit considers the “presumption of innocence” of athletes from these countries being put seriously into question. As a result, every IF should take a decision on the eligibility of such athletes on an individual basis to ensure a level playing field in their sport. In this decision-making process, the absence of a positive national anti-doping test should not be considered sufficient by the IFs. This means that the respective IF should take into account other reliable adequate testing systems in addition to national anti-doping testing. This decision about the “level playing field” in each of their very different Olympic sports, and eligibility, including of their member National Federations, should be taken by each IF taking into account all the specific circumstances in the relevant National Federations, any available evidence, the World Anti-Doping Code and the specific rules of their sport.
  • To fully review the anti-doping system by requesting WADA to convene an “Extraordinary World Conference on Doping” in 2017. The Olympic Summit on 8 October 2016 to propose further measures for debate at this conference. This will in particular include the reinforcement of the request issued by the Olympic Summit on 17 October 2015 to make the entire anti-doping system independent from sports organisations.

The Olympic Summit appreciates the full support of the Association of the Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) for these principles, which allow the IFs to anticipate potential further developments in the fight against doping. The Olympic Summit also appreciates the support of WADA for these principles and its readiness to cooperate closely with ASOIF to ensure their implementation. The Olympic Summit welcomes and supports the firm commitment of the IOC to protect the clean athletes, to fight against doping with zero tolerance and together with all its stakeholders to ensure a level playing field for all clean athletes at the Olympic Games Rio 2016.

Related Links
Key Changes to the Revised Equine Prohibited Substance List as of 2016
FEI President Ingmar De Vos Pushes Clean Sport Message
2016 Die Alten Meister Forum in Gossau - Wanted: Judges with Competence and Backbone
Medals, Doping, Equestrian Sport - What will the Future be Like?