Tag Archives: International Olympic Committee

Caster Semenya slams World Athletics

Double Olympic women’s 800m champion, Caster Semenya has slammed the World Athletics (WA) in a scathing post on her social media page.

Semenya is not allowed to compete across a number of distances due to the World Athletics regulations for athletes with Differences of Sexual Development (DSD).

The 31 year-old is prohibited from competing in distances from 400m to mile, but can race across 100m, 200m and any event further than 1600m.

Through her social media handle, twitter, she claimed that there was a lack of logic in the regulations.

“So according to World Athletics and its members, I’m a male when it comes to 400m, 800m, 1500m and 1600m,” she wrote.

“Then a female in 100m, 200m, and long distance events. What a research. What kind of a fool would do that?”

The World Athletics regulations, implemented in 2018, prohibit athletes with DSD from competing between 400m and a mile unless they take hormone-reducing drugs.

After unsuccessful appeals at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and Switzerland’s Federal Supreme Court, the South African super star is waiting for the hearing at the European Court of Human Rights.

Last week she ran her fastest ever women’s 3000m race at the Athletics South Africa Grand Prix, clocking a lifetime best of 8:54.97 over the distance.

In November WA confirmed that it would not be changing its regulations, even after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) issued a new framework for transgender and DSD athletes.

Semenya missed out on her target of 15:10.00 which meant she didn’t qualify for the Olympics after finishing in fourth place in a 5000m meet in Belgium in a time of 15:50.12 in June 2021.

Sebastian Coe warns transgender athletes pose risk to women’s sport

World Athletics president, Sebastian Coe has warned ‘gender cannot trump biology’ as the transgender debate threatens to engulf sport.

Coe spoke after the American swimmer Lia Thomas became the first transgender woman to win an NCAA swimming championship last week. The World Athletics president also called on the International Olympic Committee to introduce regulations that can be applied across every sport and insisted that “gender cannot trump biology”.

That victory has sparked an outcry from Thomas’s rivals and escalated the conversation around the future risks to the female category in sport, with World Athletics concerned that women’s sport is in a ‘very fragile’ place.

“Look at the nature of 12 or 13-year-old girls. I remember my daughters would regularly outrun male counterparts in their class but as soon as puberty kicks in that gap opens and it remains. Gender cannot trump biology. As a federation president, I do not have that luxury. It is a luxury that other organizations not at the practical end of having to deal with these issues have. But as far as I am concerned, the scientific evidence, the peer-reviewed work we have done, those regulations are the right approach.” said Lord Coe.

Thomas competed on the men’s team for three years before transitioning and moving to the women’s team and setting multiple program records.

Russian, Belarusian athletes to be excluded from Diamond League

The Diamond League of track and field competitions has banned Russian Authorised Neutral Athletes (ANA) and Belarusian athletes from its events “for the foreseeable future”, organisers said, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Earlier this month, World Athletics banned the two countries’ athletes, support staff and officials from all events for the foreseeable future, and said the sanction included Russian athletes who had the ANA status in 2022.

“The Wanda Diamond League meetings accepted the recommendation of the board that Authorised Neutral Athletes (ANA) and Belarus athletes be excluded from all Diamond League meetings for the foreseeable future,” organisers said.

“This recommendation… reflects the practical and logistical issues meetings may face if ANA athletes from Russia and athletes from Belarus were to be invited to compete.

The Russian Athletics Federation has been suspended from World Athletics since 2015 due to doping violations, and its competitors have not been allowed to compete under the country’s flag at international events.

The International Olympic Committee has recommended that events in Russia be cancelled or relocated and that Russian and Belarusian athletes not take part or compete under a neutral flag.

Many sports bodies have moved events and suspended Russian and Belarusian teams or athletes from competing while sponsors have ended contracts in protests against the war.

Russian and Belarusian athletes are also excluded from the World Athletics Indoor Championships, which begin on Friday in Belgrade.

 

World Athletics bans Russian and Belarus athletes

World Athletics has banned Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) and Belarusian athletics federation athletes “for the foreseeable future” from World Athletics competition in the wake of the Ukraine invasion, with immediate effect.

This means that the two federations’ athletes will not be allowed to take part in this month’s World Athletics Indoor Championships in Serbia.

The announcement made yesterday by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that athletes and officials from Russia and Belarus should be banned from all international sporting events.

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said: “The unprecedented sanctions that are being imposed on Russia and Belarus by countries and industries all over the world appear to be the only peaceful way to disrupt and disable Russia’s current intentions and restore peace.

“Anyone who knows me will understand that imposing sanctions on athletes because of the actions of their Government goes against the grain.

“Sport has to step up and join these efforts to end this war and restore peace.

“We cannot and should not sit this one out.”

The World Athletics Council has today agreed to impose sanctions against the Member Federations of Russia and Belarus as a consequence of the invasion of Ukraine.

“All athletes, support personnel and officials from Russia and Belarus will be excluded from all World Athletics Series events for the foreseeable future, with immediate effect.

This means that Russia and Belarus will automatically miss out at the World Athletics Championships Oregon22, the World Athletics Indoor Championships Belgrade 22, and the World Athletics Race Walking Team Championships that will start from March 22, in Oman.

The World Athletics announced through a press release on Friday that it was “appalled” by developments in Ukraine and condemned “the Russian military invasion,” adding that WA head had spoken with senior vice-president, Sergey Bubka and with the Ukrainian Athletics Federation president, Ravil Safiullin, offering “whatever practical support we can give.”

World Athletics Athletes’ Commission chairs Renaud Lavillenie and Dame Valerie Adams welcomed today’s decision.

“We stand in solidarity with our fellow athletes, competitors, and friends from Ukraine who are facing far greater challenges than just disruptions to their training and competition, but are in fear of their lives and the lives of their loved ones,” said Lavillenie.

Athletes will be free to protest on the podium at Commonwealth Games

Athletes will be free to protest on the podium and send respectful messages at this summer’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) is set to reveal that competitors who receive their medals will be able to “advocate” without fear of being stopped or sanctioned.

Sky Sports News can exclusively reveal that ‘Athlete Advocacy Guidelines’ have been drawn up in plans to demonstrate that the CGF will support any athlete who wants to positively highlight or draw attention to an issue that they feel is important, especially those around race, gender, sexual orientation and social injustice.

To make the podium a place where athletes can be free to address or highlight an issue contrasts with the experience many athletes have had at the recent Olympic Games in Beijing and Tokyo.

Despite relaxing its rules on protesting, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) states that the podium must not be used as place to raise awareness for a cause. Only a handful of athletes defied the decree in Tokyo, the most high profile being USA shot-putter Raven Saunders, who raised and crossed her arms after collecting her silver medal

Brendan Williams, chair of the CGF’s athletes’ commission, told Sky Sports News: “It’s going to be fresh, something new, something changing and in most instances eye-opening, where the Commonwealth Games Federation is taking a bold step to allow its athletes to be those ambassadors of change.

“The podium at any games is a sacred space; it is basically the recognition and the awarding of all your achievements. You’ve done all the sweat, the sacrifices you have made to accomplish winning an event.

“But we at the Commonwealth Games are allowing athletes to use this platform. Advocate positively for social causes which they feel are just to them. But these athletes must also respect their fellow competitors because they too have placed enough work, sweat and sacrifices just to reach that point.

“Thus, we are advocating that athletes speak with their fellow competitor, speak for a cause that you feel so rightly that you should advocate for at the Games on the podium, so that you are on a level playing field whilst respecting each other.

“It may be human rights. It may be victimisation due to race. It may be the lack of understanding of my religious belief or my sexual orientation. So it is bringing awareness in a positive and respectful way.”

 Fierce debate

 Ever since the killing of George Floyd in the US in 2020, male and female athletes have tried to use their platform in the public eye to raise awareness of issues around racial inequality, such as footballers ‘taking a knee’ before kick-off.

However, debate has often been fierce about whether athletes should use the podium as a platform for protest.

The Olympic movement has grappled with this for some time. IOC Rule 50.2 allows athletes to protest peacefully, mainly away from the field of play. But the organisation has made it clear that the podium is sacred and no protest, however peaceful or well-meaning, should take place on it.

Many Olympic athletes expressed disappointment with this rule before the Tokyo Olympics last summer, while no athlete at the Winter Olympics in Beijing used the podium to peacefully protest.

Team GB skier Gus Kenworthy, an openly gay athlete and advocate of LGBTQ+ rights, told Sky Sports News from Beijing that he did not want to risk jeopardising his chances of competing by falling foul not only of IOC rules, but also local laws within China.

Arguably the most famous protest witnessed on a podium came at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City where US sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos each wore a black glove and raised a fist skywards in what Smith would later call a “human rights salute” after winning gold and silver respectively in the men’s 200m. Smith and Carlos both wished to highlight racial inequalities within the USA.

Tommie Smith, top centre, and John Carlos, top right, extend their gloved fists skyward during the playing of the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’

Although neither were stripped of their medals, they were both expelled from the Games. The IOC at the time said Smith and Carlos’ actions were a “deliberate and violent breach of the fundamental principles of the Olympic spirit”.

At Birmingham 2022, it is hoped the podium will become a space where athletes can peacefully and respectfully advocate for causes during the medal ceremony.

Williams said: “I don’t want to dwell too much on the IOC, but it [the move to allow protest] stems from frustration of all athletes who are performing at the top level of any major games where they’re restricted from being themselves, restricted from using their platform to advocate for social causes or social injustices.

“Because athletes feel that the only time they are beneficial to a Games is only at the Games as they have a four-year cycle where they are dormant. So it is the best platform to utilise the podium, the field of play to advocate for such causes. So the CGF or Commonwealth Sport is utilising this frustration to allow all athletes to be truly central because they are the key stakeholders of any Games.”

The 2018 Commonwealth Games closing ceremony
Positive protest not hate

Athletes are at the heart of the CGF’s decision. But with it comes a responsibility for them to police what is said and done respectfully. Like all guidelines, some could challenge them and cross a line into uncomfortable territory.

Williams explains: “With or without the policy, athletes will still take a stance which may be deemed subjective. So am I worried? No. The reason being is that we are becoming a sport where I trust in all athletes to be mature enough to make decisions which will not only affect them, their country, their families or the sporting organisation in general.”

The Commonwealth Games in Birmingham begin on July 28 and will conclude on August 8.

38 Medical Scientists appeal to IOC over transgender Rule

A lineup of 38 medical experts and sports insiders have signed a statement criticizing the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) new framework on transgender athletes, issuing a warning over fairness as part of the debate.

After pledging to revise the guidelines amid fierce controversy over the issue at the Olympic Games in 2021, the governing body concluded that trans women would not be required to lower their testosterone to compete against rivals born as women – one of the cornerstones of the row for those who argue that transitioned athletes have an advantage over their opponents.

The reappraisal appeared to have been partly made in response to high-profile cases including Laurel Hubbard, the New Zealander who briefly competed at the Games in super-heavyweight weighlifting.

Testosterone level regulations have come in for further questioning because of the rise of Lia Thomas, a former male competitor who has broken records at college level as a female swimmer in the US in recent months.

Some campaigners for a change to the rules have suggested that groups and individuals are afraid to speak out publicly because they fear repercussions from others who passionately claim that more restrictive measures threaten the basic rights of transgender athletes.

Now the group of scientists and sports professionals, including members of World Athletics and World Triathlon, have written to the IOC to say that the framework is more focused on inclusion than science around gender and performance.

The authors, who are said to be associated with the International Federation of Sports Medicine and European Federation of Sports Medicine Associations, appealed to the IOC to revisit the guidance in the British Medical Journal Open Science & Exercise Medicine.

They say that the presumption of transgender athletes having no presumed advantage offers a “stark contrast” to the previous ruling by the IOC in 2015, scientific evidence and the findings of various groups and research.

Trans women could be allowed to compete in female sport, the scientists say, by lowering testosterone.

Thomas took testosterone suppressants for a year before being backed by the National Collegiate Athletic Association in the US to compete.

Cycling and rowing chiefs are among the leaders urging the IOC to set standards based on fairness and science.

While some scientists argue that the evidence around transgender athletes having advantages is inconclusive, others are convinced that trans individuals benefit in competition when they are born as men, with many going through puberty before transitioning.

Professor Jurgen Steinacker told Sportsmail that transwomens’ choices to compete should be respected but that fairness had to be “bi-directional”.

“In this case, I think what they are doing is unfair on females,” the chair of World Rowing’s Sports Medicine Commission said.

“Sport is inclusive but it is inclusive until it comes to winning medals. If you want to compete as a female in sport, you face biological disadvantages compared to cisgender males that must be mitigated against.

“We need to set a limit that respects the right of females to compete on equal terms. If you create a definition of gender that is based on social rather than biological differences, then you effectively destroy the female category.”

Professor Steinacker’s remarks echoed the views of a reported letter from parents of Thomas’s rivals which warned that the integrity of women’s sports is at risk over the issue.

Former international pentathlete Kirsti Miller, who competed for Australia and later revealed she was transgender while working at a jail in 2000, issued a lengthy social media response to one report of the petition.

Miller said that the last nine Olympic Games had featured two openly transgender athletes, neither of whom threatened to earn a medal.

“Sadly, [one report of the petition] still doesn’t get that there is no relationship between unaltered endogenous testosterone in males or females and sport performance,” she claimed.

“In fact, there is no clear biological list of features that allow us to even remotely cleanly separate men from women.”

Lawsuits in several US states have achieved varying levels of success in bids to bar transgender athletes from competing in female college sports.

The new IOC framework is set to be implemented after the Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, which run from February 4-20 2022.

source: rt.com

Three sports could be expelled from 2028 Olympics

IOC president Thomas Bach on Thursday warned that the continued inclusion of weightlifting, boxing and modern pentathlon in the Games was in doubt but that skateboarding, climbing and surfing would be kept on the programme in Los Angeles in 2028.

Speaking at a press conference at the end of a three-day International Olympic Committee Executive Board in Lausanne, Bach also expressed thinly-veiled frustration with FIFA and announced that the three nominees for IOC seats included a refugee athlete.
Bach called boxing and weightlifting the IOC’s “problem children”.
He laid out what the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) and the International Boxing Association (AIBA) must do to be included at the next Games in Paris in 2024.

“AIBA must demonstrate that it has addressed concerns around its governance, its financial transparency and the integrity of its refereeing and judging,” Bach said.
The IOC is insisting the IWF leadership must change and those who take over must demonstrate an “effective change of culture,” Bach said.
“They must successfully address historical incidence of doping in the sport.”
World Pentathlon (UIPM) faces a different problem, Bach said.
The sport, invented by Olympic founder Pierre de Coubertin, attracted headlines in Tokyo when a German coach punched the horse assigned to Annika Schleu, who was leading the event at the time, after it refused to jump.
Pentathlon will be on the programme in Paris but is under threat for Los Angeles.
It needs to replace horse riding and revamp its format, said Bach, as well as cutting costs and increasing their appeal to a wider audience.
Skateboarding, surfing and sport climbing joined the Olympics in Tokyo and Bach said the Executive Board was recommending that the full IOC rubber- stamp “these youth-focused” events for 2028 when it meets in Beijing in February.
He said the IOC recognised “the deep roots each of these sports have in LA and in California.”
Bach acknowledged a biennial World Cup could lead to a clash with the Olympics but said FIFA had not told the IOC anything about the plans.
“We have had no consultation with the FIFA president or with FIFA concerning this,” he said, adding that all the IOC knew about the proposals came from the media.
He said the IOC was “drawing the conclusion” that there could be a “biennial World Cup for the first time in 2028” when the Los Angeles Games are scheduled.
“We would have to study what this would mean for availability of the best players and the IOC would then have to consider the consequences.”
Bach announced that among the three nominations for spots on the IOC was Yiech Pur Biel, a runner originally from South Sudan, who competed for the Refugee Olympic Team in the 800m in 2016.
The other two were Danka Bartekova, a Slovak skeet shooter who won bronze at the 2012 London Games and David Lappartient, the president of the International Cycling Union.
Asked what the IOC was doing to ensure that products made by forced labour in the Chinese province of Xinjiang were not used at the upcoming Beijing Games, Executive Board director-general Christophe De Kepper said the IOC was performing “due diligence” and promised a full report in January.

AIU begins investigations to probe Belarus officials removed from Olympics

Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has launched investigation into two Belarus coaches who allegedly tried to force an athlete to fly home from the Tokyo Olympics.

Krystsina Tsimanouskaya said she was taken to the airport in Tokyo against her will after criticizing her coaches.

The sprinter received police protection after voicing fears for her safety and was later granted asylum by Poland.

Tsimanouskaya was ordered to fly home after criticizing coaches for entering her in the 4x400m relay without her knowledge and was taken to the airport in Tokyo before she could run in her chosen 200m event.

The head coach Yuri Moisevich and team official Artur Shumak were then kicked out of the Games by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), days after they ordered Tsimanouskaya to pack her bags and go to the airport.

“The IOC and World Athletics have jointly agreed to continue the investigation and to open a formal procedure [regarding] the two coaches,” it said in a statement.

“To this effect, and given that the Olympic Games have now concluded, it has been decided that the AIU – the independent body created by World Athletics to manage all integrity issues (both doping-related and non-doping-related) for the sport of athletics – will conduct the procedure, with the full collaboration and support of the IOC.

“The AIU will publish the outcome of its investigation when this has been finalised.”

How Trans Activism and Science Denial are Destroying Sport

By Linda Blade with Barbara Kay

When the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided in 2015 to allow male born athletes to self-identify into women’s competition it is as if they completely forgot that sport is a biology-based preserve. One glance at a world records chart in any Olympic sport demonstrates the vast difference between male and female performance capacities.

This descent into distorted sports policy did not happen overnight. The book UNSPORTING takes the reader on a dystopian journey that begins with real-life examples of transwomen athletes who are quite aware that they have an inherent advantage over their female opponents and flaunt their pleasure in exercising it.

Unsporting: How Trans Activism and Science Denial are Destroying Sport
By Linda Blade (Author), Barbara Kay (Author)
The face of female sports is changing.
Radical gender activists are using a pseudoscientific theory of human biology to hijack sports and subvert the long-established concepts of fair play — forcing women and girls to risk their safety, pushing them aside for male athletes using the excuse of “inclusivity.”
Anyone who questions this dogma risks being branded as a transphobe and having their social and professional lives “cancelled”.
In the new book, Unsporting: How Trans Activism and Science Denial are Destroying Sport, former Canadian track champion Linda Blade and renowned National Post columnist Barbara Kay, examine the dangers of gender ideology in sports. They document the attack on biological facts upon which the level playing field of sports rests.
Tackling issues few have the courage to say out loud, Unsporting shows the harm inflicted on female athletes, and identifies the institutions driving this movement.
What does the future hold for sports if biological reality is ignored? Blade answers that question, and concludes with a reasonable plan to reverse course.

t then proceeds to describe the political coercion happening in Canada, whereby certain sport governing bodies are promoting a form of “inclusion” so radical that it would enable a male athlete to play in men’s sport one season and women’s sport the next, based upon self-proclamations that cannot be verified. According to these activists, any attempt by competition organizers to ask questions would be considered unethical and hateful.

Authors Blade and Kay illustrate the vast difference between the consequences of the drive for trans inclusion for men’s sport (zero consequences) and women’s sport (cataclysmic consequences). Yet, as the authors point out, virtually all trans athletes in Canada and elsewhere — whether born male or born female — magically end up in the women’s category where they stand the best chance of success.

It is not difficult to make that case that this default situation in the name of “inclusion” results in the exclusion of female athletes from their own sports.

Of course, this situation is not unique to Canada. UNSPORTING includes accounts about how this insanity is happening around the globe and at all levels in sport, simultaneously.

The book ends on a positive note by introducing the reader to courageous individuals and groups who are pushing back against the false narratives the inclusion agenda insists upon, and whose indefatigable efforts are helping to bring sanity and justice back to the sport world. A sensible (alternative) policy recommendation is offered.

Whatever the intent, the IOC decision to include biological males in women’s sport is arguably the most misogynistic decision ever taken in sport history. It is hoped that the book UNSPORTING will convince participants and leaders alike to resist unstable ideological and political adaptations and, instead, apply a rational mindset and vocal support to reinforcing sex-based boundaries in sport.

Nesta Carter hangs his running shoes

Jamaica’s London Olympics relay gold medallist Nesta Carter has called time on his athletics career.

In a press release yesterday, through MVP Track and Field Club, the 35-year-old sprinter said he could not compete up to his standard in the sport. He said he has been hampered by an injury that has prevented him from competing since March.

“Now at the age of 35, I am no longer able to give of my best as an athlete to the sport that I know and love. As a result and for other reasons, I am announcing my retirement from Track and Field as an athlete,” Carter said.

Nesta Carter (left) returned a failed drug test from his Beijing 2008 ‘A’ sample. Photo: Getty Images

Carter ends his career with a personal best in the 100m of 9.78 seconds, the eighth fastest time in history. He won Olympic gold as a member of the Jamaica 4x100m relay team that set the world record at the 2012 London Olympic Games (36.84 seconds). He won three World Championships gold medals as part of the Jamaica 4x100m relay team in 2011, 2013, and 2015, silver in 2007 and an individual bronze in 100m final in 2013.

In 2016 Carter returned a positive doping test results for Methylhexanamine from 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

He failed the drug test after International Olympic Committee (IOC) retested 454 samples from 2008 Olympic Games.

The report said that the IOC requested to test Carter’s B sample after his A test showed a presence of banned substance Methylhexanamine from 2008 Olympics.