- 09 Oct 2023
Over 400 athlete representatives met last week at the 11th International Athletes’ Forum (IAF) in Lausanne (Switzerland) to discuss the most important issues for athletes across the Olympic Movement. The event, organised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on 1 and 2 October at the SwissTech Convention Centre, focused on important topics like athlete support programmes, athlete rights, clean sport, integrity, safeguarding and more. It was a perfect opportunity for IPACS to raise awareness about corruption risks in sport and how to prevent those risks.
IPACS athletes’ representative Oluseyi Smith, a two-time summer and winter Olympian in athletics and bobsleigh, was on the ground to share his insights on the fight against corruption in sport with his peers during a panel session dedicated to athlete rights, clean sport and integrity. He cautioned: “Acts of corruption can be very damaging for the reputation and credibility of the entire sports world. Athletes are at the centre of the sports movement and are therefore very much affected when corruption happens in their environment.”
He added: “We have the responsibility to regularly question what the organisations are doing to preserve and improve their governance standards, and we can do this through an active involvement in our Athletes’ Commissions or other official channels that are available. Please support me in spreading this message among your peers at home.”
His call has a considerable outreach potential: Athletes’ Commission members from no fewer than 181 National Olympic Committees (NOCs), 54 International Federations (IFs), the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), Organising Committees for the upcoming Olympic Games (OCOGs) and Continental Associations, as well as members of the Athletes’ Declaration Steering Committee and representatives from the World Olympians Association (WOA), were present in Lausanne for the two days.
Oluseyi then provided several clear examples of how IPACS coordinates the efforts between sports organisations, governments and expert organisations on the prevention side, as well as when it comes to dealing with ongoing corruption cases, which often have a transnational nature. He concluded by inviting his peers to visit the IPACS booth at the IAF to learn more.
IOC Athletes’ Commission Chair Emma Terho
At the IPACS booth, the athletes’ representatives had the opportunity to engage in fun learning activities, speak with the IPACS team and receive useful information and material to bring back home to their commissions. Interaction and knowledge-sharing at its best!