World Olympians Association welcomes Athletes’ Declaration

9 | 10 | 2018

World Olympians Association has welcomed the adoption of the Athletes’ Rights and Responsibilities Declaration, which was officially adopted at the IOC Session in Buenos Aires today.

The Athletes’ Declaration is an athlete-driven initiative, developed by and designed for Olympians, Paralympians and athletes through a collaborative effort with stakeholders across the Olympic Movement, including WOA. It was ratified following an extensive consultation process that involved more than 4,200 Olympians and elite athletes from 190 countries.

Led by a Steering Committee, chaired by New Zealand Olympian and IOC Athletes’ Commission Member Sarah Walker OLY and including WOA Executive Committee Member and fellow New Zealander Chantal Brunner OLY, the Athletes’ Declaration sets out the fundamental principles that support the rights and responsibilities of athletes within the Olympic Movement.

It covers topics such as anti-doping, integrity, clean sport, career, communications, governance, discrimination, due process, and harassment and abuse and was inspired by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other internationally recognised human rights standards.

You can view the Athletes' Declaration here.

WOA President Joël Bouzou OLY, said:

“WOA is delighted that the rights and responsibilities of Olympians and athletes will now be enshrined in the Olympic Charter.  WOA is proud that we could be part of the development of the Athletes’ Declaration, a document that has been driven by Olympians, and which recognises the importance of protecting the rights and responsibilities of all athletes within the Olympic Movement.

“Olympians are the heart of the Movement and it is vital that they are empowered and supported throughout their sporting and non-sporting careers. This Declaration, which underwent a thorough consultation process involving Olympians and other elite athletes from all over the world, ensures that they not only have a voice but that they are being listened to by those charged with representing their needs.

“WOA is pleased that the Athlete’s Declaration is a living document that will evolve over the years. We look forward to taking part in that process to ensure that the Athletes’ Declaration reflects the needs, rights and responsibilities of Olympians and athletes as the world of sport evolves.

“I would like to congratulate the members of the Steering Committee and the IOC Athletes’ Commission on the realisation of their vision with the ratification of the Athletes’ Declaration in Buenos Aires today.”

The Athletes’ Declaration was initiated in early 2017 when discussions first began about a creating document that would meet the needs of today’s elite athletes. Its development and delivery is part of the implementation of the IOC Athletes’ Commission Strategy.

The Steering Committee leading its development was made up of representatives from the athletes’ commissions of 10 International Federations (Summer and Winter), all 5 Continental Associations, 3 from IOC, 1 from World Olympians Association and 1 from International Paralympic Committee.