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Thursday, April 18, 2019
Bermuda Officials Attend International Athletes Forum

Some 350 Athletes representatives from 185 National Olympic Committee (NOC) including Bermuda, 50 International Federations (IFS), Five Continental Athletes Commissions (ACS), The ACS of all the Organizing Committees of the upcoming Olympic Games, The International Paralympic Committee (IPC), The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the World Olympians Association (WOA) met over a Three Day period in Lausanne for the 9th Edition of the International Athletes Forum. (IAF)

This was the biggest ever gathering of official athlete representatives, to which athletes from all 206 NOCís were invited.

Also attending was IOC President Thomas Bach, Olympic Champion in Fencing in Montreal 1976 and member of the first IOC Athletes Commission in 1981.

The discussions produced the following recommendations from the IAF, which were unanimously supported in a vote during in the closing session:

1. To strengthen athletesí representation:

- The participants of the IAF underlined that, for the legitimacy of athlete representation by their peers, it is essential that the elections for ACs should take place in every NOC and every IF, as is done at the Olympic Games for the IOC AC. It was emphasised that, based on this election having a voice and a vote within the decision making bodies, this is the most powerful and legitimate form of athlete representation.

2. To strengthen the solidarity funding model:

- The athletes emphasised the need to continue and strengthen the solidarity funding model because it serves all athletes from all 206 NOCs and all Olympic sports. It was noted that the athletes participate in the Olympic Games as a team of their NOC. Therefore, the financial support from the IOC should go to the Olympic team, i.e. the NOC.

- In this context, the IOC and NOCs should continue to make the funding streams to all stakeholders even more transparent and communicate more clearly about their impact, in order to create a reference point for the athletes to follow up on the implementation of the IOC programmes and to monitor them more closely.

- The same principle of transparency should apply to IFs. In this context, the IOC should form a working group with the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) to develop a set of principles and guidelines in which an identified share of the Olympic funding would be dedicated to specific athlete support programmes including athlete representation. These principles and guidelines should be finalised and implemented for the next Olympic cycle, starting after the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

3. To strengthen direct financial support for NOC Athletesí Commissions:

- Taking into consideration the need for the ACs to conduct regular engagement activities with their fellow athletes, the IAF recommends that the IOC AC proposes to the IOC Executive Board (EB) that the IOC financially supports the ACs of NOCs and Continental Associations of NOCs. The proposal would be for subsidies of up to USD 10,000 per commission, per year, which could be available on application to the NOCs and eventually could add up to a support programme of about USD 10 million per Olympiad. The IOC President has committed to supporting this proposal when discussed by the IOC EB.

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