Summing up the meeting of the ROC Athletes’ Commission

On June 30, the Russian Olympic Committee held a meeting of the ROC Athletes’ Commission, chaired by Sofya Velikaya. The session was held online.

Members of the Commission discussed the work plan for the current year, in particular, the preparations for the expanded meeting of the ROC Athletes’ Commission scheduled to be held in the first half of November in Sochi. Also discussed was organizing the master class

“Athlete365 Career+Outreach Workshops” aimed at supporting athletes in terms of social adaptation after the ending of their careers.

The main topic on the agenda was the discussion of the Open Letter by the Athletes’ Commission of the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) addressed to the international sports community.

Members of the ROC Athletes’ Commission supported the initiative of their colleagues from RusAF and prepared their own official statement, which will be sent to the IOC Athletes’ Commission, the WADA Athletes’ Commission and World Athletics (formerly IAAF).

The full text is presented below:

Statement of the ROC Athletes’ Commission

The Athletes’ Commission of the Russian Olympic Committee supports steps taken by the international sports community to fight against doping and comply with anti-doping rules. We base our work on the principle of zero tolerance for any fraud in sport. We believe that this approach is in the interests of all clean athletes, whose legal rights must be respected, regardless of nationality, gender or religion.

In this regard, we fully support the appeal of the Athletes’ Commission of the Russian Athletic Federation to the management of international sports organizations, which urges once again to draw attention to the unprecedented situation.

The right of clean athletes to participate in competitions is the basis of the international sports and Olympic movement. However, at the moment the legal right of Russian athletes is conditional on the payment of a monetary fine by the national federation. The principle of collective responsibility for incidents athletes have nothing to do with at all is applied to them. Finally, the selectivity and criteria on which no more than 10 clean Russian athletes are supposed to be allowed to participate in international competitions are incomprehensible.

We believe that sanctions for violations committed by the management of a national federation cannot and should not infringe upon the basic rights of clean athletes and should not be grounds for depriving them of their competitive practice.

The ROC Athletes’ Commission hopes that in our appeal, which is purely about the essence of sport and Olympism and is devoid of any inappropriate politicization, the voice of the athletes will be truly heard by the international community and the rights of clean athletes will be respected regardless of the developments with the payment of a fine by RusAF which was unilaterally imposed by World Athletics.