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  • OpEd: Olympians must speak up to preserve values of Olympism


    Joel Bouzou, president, World Olympians Association (ATR)
    Olympians are part of a special community within the Olympic Family, giving them the unique opportunity to harness the power of sport to educate and inspire. Together, they embody the essential Olympic Values of friendship, excellence and respect and should aspire to act on these values in all that they do.

    To preserve these values, though, Olympians must fiercely protect the integrity and fairness of sport and have the courage and conviction needed to raise concerns about cheating and abuse - no matter what form it takes.

    That is why World Olympians Association (WOA) is working in partnership with the IOC Athletes’ Commission, International Federations, National Olympic Committees, National Olympians Associations and Athletes’ Commissions around the world to empower more Olympians to speak out to protect athletes and safeguard the integrity of global sport.

    WOA’s mission is to be of service to Olympians, representing their interests and providing a platform whereby they can act as a force for good in society. Olympians, particularly those whose sport career has come to a close, maintain a position of independence. This independence can be particularly advantageous when it comes to eradicating cheating and abuse in sport. By supporting those who may not be in a position to speak up, Olympians can use their voice to help shine a light on instances where abuses of power, injustice and cheating may have occurred.

    Working collectively and in harmony with athlete leaders and representative bodies everywhere, WOA is pleased to highlight some of the existing tools available that Olympians can use to ensure that integrity in sport is held to the highest standard.

    Firstly, Olympians, athletes, coaches, referees and the public can call the IOC’s Integrity and Compliance hotline to report any potential violation of the IOC Code of Ethics, including cheating it all its forms and abuse of athletes or positions of power. Reports can be made anonymously, and all information received is dealt with confidentially. Access the Hotline HERE.

    Similarly, the World Anti-Doping Association’s Speak Up service, encourages Olympians and all members of the public to report any Anti-Doping Rule Violation, any alleged World Anti-Doping Code non-compliance violation, or any act or omission that could undermine the fight against doping. A report can be filed by anyone confidentially, securely and anonymously. Access Speak Up HERE.

    WOA is proud to work alongside our colleagues in the Olympic Movement to help ensure the safeguarding and security of all athletes and work towards a fairer world of sport for all. We continue to support the important advances being made by the International Olympic Committee, the IOC Athletes’ Commission, WADA and all stakeholders to protect the values of Olympism which we all hold dear.

    With best Olympian regards,

    Joël Bouzou OLY