ITU approves a new policy against harassment and abuse in sport
ITU is pleased to announce that the Executive Board, met in Madrid, has approved a new Safeguarding policy against harassment and abuse in sport. “We are fully committed with protecting everyone involve in triathlon, not only athletes, but also technical officials, coaches and the ITU staff, and this new code will be a great tool for all to assure that we take a proactive approach to this really important matter”, said ITU President and IOC member, Marisol Casado.
In November 2017, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) took a step in the protection of athletes by launching a toolkit to assist International Sports Federations and National Olympic Committees to develop and implement safeguarding policies and procedures. This Code implemented now by the ITU has been inspired by this, and includes procedures designed to protect everyone who takes part in all World Triathlon activities and events.
“ITU has been working in the last years to ensure an atmosphere in which everybody who officiates and operates within the sport can enjoy a safe, rewarding and positive experience. Harassment and abuse can occur in any sport, and can impact officials and athletes alike, and we didn’t want to wait until we had an open case before we launched this initiative”, said Casado.
The IOC Consensus Statement of 2016 gives some examples of consequences of different forms of harassment and abuse in sport: both the physical and emotional impact on athletes but also those that could harm the reputation of World Triathlon. This is why the organisation believes that all athletes, coaches, officials, staff and volunteers have the right to participate in the sport in a safe and inclusive environment, free from all forms of harm, discrimination, abuse, violence and neglect.
The Policy will be extended to all National Federations, which must play a part in ensuring that the environment of triathlon is free from any kind of harassment and abuse. All National Federations will introduce their own accessible and understanding safeguarding policy in accordance with their applicable law, and ITU’s policy and all the NFs are recommended to strongly communicate and promote the education and prevention from any form of harassment and abuse in their own jurisdiction.
ITU Executive Board has also appointed two staff members as Lead Welfare Officers with a legal and medical knowledge who will be the main confidential point of contact for anyone reporting suspected harassment and abuse at any time.