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ATHLETES NEED GREATER VOICE
Friday July 19, 2019 - Email this article to a friend

Athletes should be given greater voice & culture must change'. So a report tells the US Olympic Committee.




In a bid to change the general culture of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) the organisation has been recommended to increase athlete representation.

This has been outlined in a report published by the Athlete and National Governing Body Engagement Commission earlier this week.

It has been nine months in preparation and analysis.

The Commission was established by the USOPC in order to to evaluate the structure of Olympic and Paralympic bodies in the US.

USOPC Chief Executive Sarah Hirshland has said that the organisation had already begun its reform efforts.

She has said the organisation will make changes to follow what's been outlined by the commission. 

The report has come about following a number of scandals in the American sporting world, such as the sexual abuse case of Larry Nassar.

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Included in the report:
  • Each USOPC committee, working group and task force be comprised of at least 20% athletes
  • The board should include at least three members of the Athletes' Advisory Council (AAC) & two further athlete representatives
"The 10-year regulation requires that a competitor must have participated at an Olympic or Paralympic Games, Pan American Games or "Operation Gold" events within the preceding decade to be able to be an AAC member," world sport publication insidethegames.biz reports.

There are guidelines too on who should make up the Board, with a deadline of 2024 for when this new Board should be running.

The advisory group has also said that there should be increased separation and independence of the bodies.

The report also stated that the USOPC "must change in order to build the trust of athletes".

An annual assessment should be carried out by an independent organisation to ensure the journey towards an athlete-centric culture.

"With changes to governance and personnel, policies and procedures - and most importantly, culture - we are a very different organisation than we were one year ago, but we have more work to do," Sarah Hirshland said.

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