29 October 2017
Olympic Summit communique
Following the invitation of the International Olympic Committee, the leading representatives of the Olympic movement met in Lausanne today for the 6th Olympic Summit They discussed a number of topics which are important to the future of the Olympic Movement.
The main areas under discussion were the following:
- Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018;
- Protection of clean athletes;
- Targeted pre-Games testing;
- Schmid/Oswald Commissions;
- Founding of the Independent Testing Authority (ITA);
- The development of “eSports”.
The Olympic Summit participants expressed their full support for the upcoming Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. The Summit also applauded the PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee for all the progress in the technical preparations for the Games.
With regard to the situation on the Korean Peninsula, the Summit expressed its appreciation that the IOC has been in close contact for many months already with the governments and National Olympic Committees (NOCs) concerned. The Summit took note that none of them has called the Olympic Games PyeongChang 2018 into question.
The safety and security of the athletes are of course the top priority for everyone in the Olympic Movement, and this was highlighted again by the Olympic Summit. The IOC will continue to monitor the situation in cooperation with governments, NOCs and International Federations (IFs).
Protecting the clean athletes is a fundamental commitment of the Olympic Movement. Prior to the Olympic Games PyeongChang 2018, the IOC, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the Doping-Free Sport Unit (DFSU) of the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) and the International Olympic Winter Sports Federations have set up a Task Force to optimise the effectiveness of testing of athletes in the months before the Games, through detailed assessment of individual athletes and groups of athletes in order to recommend specific targeted tests, and then following up and monitoring the testing performed on these athletes.
The targeted pre-Games testing advised by the Task Force enhances the tests which are already carried out by the IFs and the National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs).
It was emphasised that a special focus of the Task Force is on Russian athletes, given the ongoing inquiries by the two IOC Disciplinary Commissions, in particular with regard to the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014.
As well as a special emphasis on Russian athletes, the Pre-Games Testing programme is also enhanced using the following criteria:
- Sports disciplines and nationalities at risk will be particularly targeted.
- Individual athletes will be targeted depending on their ranking, in particular the top 20, and performance, and also following any suspicious change in recent performance and with regard to any previous adverse testing history.
- Targeted tests carried are carried out between April 2017 and January 2018 by IFs and NADOs.
- There have already been more than 4,000 targeted tests recommended by the Task Force on more than 1,800 athletes. These recommendations to IFs and NADOs are being followed up and monitored by the Task Force.
The Summit welcomed the commitment of the Winter IFs to make the recommendations of the Task Force with regard to the Russian athletes binding and a prerequisite for any potential Olympic participation.
The Summit supported the above-mentioned measures and welcomed that the International Winter Sports Federations plan to release, from the end of November, a monthly report by nationality of how many athletes have been tested under these conditions.
The Summit emphasised that the targeted pre-Games testing does not prejudge any decision still to be taken by the Schmid and Oswald Commissions and the IOC EB.
The Summit was given an update on the ongoing investigations by the Schmid and Oswald Commissions.
Due to the nature and complexity of the cases Mr Denis Oswald explained that a legally-defendable methodology has had to be developed specifically to conduct the forensic analysis necessary for all the cases under the jurisdiction of the Commission. This thorough, comprehensive and time-consuming process took several months, involving external forensic experts.
The Summit noted that the findings of the forensic analysis of the McLaren Report could not be used to establish individual legal action because the methodology that Professor McLaren used was not designed to establish individual anti-doping rule violations. This was not part of Professor McLaren’s mandate, as he himself has made clear on several occasions.
This is why the Oswald Commission needed a new and more specific methodology which, after long research, was developed by experts at Lausanne University. Therefore, the IOC was unable to take action, except for the initiation of disciplinary cases against 28 athletes, until the methodology had been validated and produced the first results.
With regard to the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014, the Oswald Commission not only addressed the cases of the 28 Russian athletes mentioned in the McLaren Report, but also undertook a re-analysis of all Russian athletes. This re-analysis has two goals – to further review the samples for evidence of doping, and separately to determine if the samples themselves were manipulated. The IOC has also retested all samples of Russian athletes from the Olympic Winter Games Vancouver 2010 and the Olympic Games London 2012.
The Summit appreciated the fact that the investigation of the Oswald Commission goes beyond the findings and mandate of the McLaren Report.
The Oswald Commission has announced that all hearings for active athletes who could qualify for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 will be completed by the end of November. In accordance with the World Anti-Doping Code, confidentiality has to be respected in the interests of the athletes concerned. The purpose of this work is to ensure that the IFs have the necessary tools to protect the qualification competitions.
The outcome of the hearings will be announced as soon as possible after each individual hearing. This will allow the IFs to follow up with their disciplinary hearings immediately and to take the athletes concerned out of the qualification system as soon as possible. The Winter Sports IFs reaffirmed their commitment to take swift action.
The Olympic Summit was also informed that the hearings of the Schmid Commission are ongoing, and that due process is being followed. The Commission will produce its report within the next few weeks.
The Summit supported the intention of the IOC Executive Board (EB) to take a decision with regard to the participation of Russian athletes in the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 in December.
The Olympic Summit expressed its strong concerns and considered it unacceptable that specific sanctions are already being demanded in the public domain before the two Commissions have even completed their work and due process, to which any individual and organisation is entitled, has been followed.
The Summit welcomed the former French Sport Minister, Valérie Fourneyron, in her capacity as Chair of the new Independent Testing Authority (ITA). The membership of the Board has been ratified by the Executive Committee of WADA. The Foundation Board, which is having its first meeting at the beginning of December, is working to make the ITA fully operational in the beginning of 2018 and to appoint a Director General before the end of the year.
The Summit applauded the great progress being made in the setting-up of this ITA. The ITA will be an independent not-for-profit Swiss foundation that will provide doping controls and other related services to IFs and Major Event Organisations (MEOs) to help ensure compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code in an autonomous and harmonised manner.
The Olympic Summit is pleased that a significant number of IFs have already declared that they will join and that more than 40 Olympic and non-Olympic IFs are already working with the DFSU of GAISF which will be incorporated into the ITA. The Olympic Summit encouraged other IFs and MEOs to start discussions with the ITA with a view to joining at the earliest appropriate time.
The Olympic Summit reaffirmed that fundamental to any reform is that testing and sanctioning must be equally independent from sports organisations and national interests.
The Olympic Summit supported progress towards the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 becoming the first major sporting event to benefit from the ITA. All efforts are being made so that the ITA can be formally incorporated before the Games.
The Summit noted that at the Games in PyeongChang the anti-doping system will be independent from the IOC:
- Management of testing and results management done by the ITA in cooperation with the DFSU of GAISF.
- Sanctioning by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
The Summit discussed the rapid development of what are called “eSports”, and the current involvement of various Olympic Movement stakeholders. The Summit agreed that:
- “eSports” are showing strong growth, especially within the youth demographic across different countries, and can provide a platform for engagement with the Olympic Movement.
- Competitive “eSports” could be considered as a sporting activity, and the players involved prepare and train with an intensity which may be comparable to athletes in traditional sports.
- In order to be recognised by the IOC as a sport, the content of “eSports” must not infringe on the Olympic values.
- A further requirement for recognition by the IOC must be the existence of an organisation guaranteeing compliance with the rules and regulations of the Olympic Movement (anti-doping, betting, manipulation, etc.).
The Summit asked the IOC together with GAISF in a dialogue with the gaming industry and players to explore this area further and to come back to the Olympic Movement stakeholders in due course.