The 46th General Assembly of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) was held in a hybrid format on 8 June in Lausanne, Switzerland, with the situation of the Ukrainian sport community, preparations for Paris 2024 and amendments to the ASOIF Statutes dominating the agenda.
The meeting opened with a speech by Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), who thanked the ASOIF members for the excellent cooperation in the run-up to, and during the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 - a successful edition held amidst unprecedented and very challenging circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He also reiterated the IOC’s position on the war in Ukraine and on the breach of the Olympic Truce by the Russian government and the government of Belarus. The IOC recommendations on this important matter have been supported by ASOIF and its member International Federations (IFs).
ASOIF President Francesco Ricci Bitti, who led the General Assembly, said: “It was great to meet most of our members in person again. The discussions are livelier than in the virtual space and we were able to address many pressing issues. Obviously, the situation of the Ukrainian sport community is a major concern for all IFs, and we need to do everything to support the Ukrainian athletes in training, also in light of the upcoming qualification process for Paris 2024. The sanctions in place are aimed to protect the integrity of the athletes and the competition.”
The ASOIF membership received a detailed presentation from the Paris 2024 Organising Committee, led by its President Tony Estanguet. With two years to go, there was a strong focus on the progress, opportunities and challenges in the fields of infrastructure, venue finalisation, sport delivery and sport presentation. Time is short and the economic framework has been impacted by the global health crisis as well as the war in Ukraine. The IF leaders reiterated their readiness to collaborate more closely in order to contribute to the organisers’ vision of delivering spectacular, popular and sustainable Games.
“There was broad consensus that pragmatism, efficiency, flexibility and innovation will be key ingredients to make Paris 2024 a success,” said Francesco Ricci Bitti after the meeting. “During today’s discussions it became very clear that the IFs are eager to play their part.”
The General Assembly also approved several amendments to the ASOIF Statutes concerning the membership status, in particular the eligibility criteria for Full and Associate Members. These Statute amendments will allow ASOIF to accommodate IFs as members as the Olympic sports programme continues to evolve. The updated Statutes are coming into effect immediately and require Full Members to be consecutively included on the Olympic programme for the three most recent editions of Summer Olympic Games. In order to qualify as an ASOIF Associate Member, IFs must govern a sport on the Olympic programme for future editions of the Summer Olympic Games or they must have done so for any five editions of the Olympic Games since 1988.
With governance remaining a top priority for ASOIF and its members, the delegates were updated on the fourth review of IF governance, led by ASOIF’s Governance Task Force. ASOIF President Ricci Bitti praised the IFs’ good collaboration in this regard. The two-year interval since the third assessment has allowed the ASOIF members time to implement more complex changes and significant progress is expected. The results are currently being finalised and will be made public on 21 June.
In addition, the General Assembly heard updates from the IOC on matters related to the IFs and the Olympic Games and from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
The meeting was livestreamed on YouTube.