Athletes pose during the ongoing International Athletes' Forum in Lausanne ©IOC

Progress towards finalising an Athletes' Charter of Rights and Responsibility as well as a new "Athlete365" brand have been discussed during an International Athletes' Forum in Lausanne.

The event, organised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Athletes' Commission chaired by United States' Angela Ruggiero, is focused around "empowering athletes in Olympic Movement decision-making process".

It was agreed that the three most important elements are "clear communication channels with your athlete constituents", "getting the right athletes in your commission", "including a balance of ages, genders, countries and sport disciplines" and "providing support and resources to your athletes".

"We need to demonstrate to sports leadership that instead of simply complaining about different issues, an athletes’ commission can really help them," Australia's Athletes' Commission member and three-time Olympic gold medallist James Tomkins said. 

"It’s a shift in mindset."

There is lingering concern over whether the foremost aim of the IOC Athletes' Commission is to represent the interests of athletes - or of the IOC itself.

Another member of the IOC panel, BMX cyclist Sarah Walker, was confirmed as chair of a Steering Committee designed to set up the Athletes' Charter. 

"This is going to be a document by the athletes, for the athletes," the New Zealander said.

"We want a minimum standard of human rights for athletes which ensure they are protected - and we have to be ‘All In’ to give this the best opportunity of working,"

It is expected to include the themes of "communication, governance, marketing, integrity and clean sport, sports competition, and career transition and wellbeing".

Participants suggest ideas during the Athletes' Forum in Lausanne ©IOC
Participants suggest ideas during the Athletes' Forum in Lausanne ©IOC

"Athlete365" is billed an "exciting new platform that unites all of the IOC’s athlete-focused programmes under one engaging brand".

"This is a new concept that will bring communication with athletes to a higher level," Slovakia's Danka Barteková, chair of the IOC Athletes' Commission Communications Working Group, said. 

"Be our ambassadors, spread the word and help us share the information."

Updates were also given by representatives from Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028 to explain how athletes will be involved in the planning for these two Games.

These were given by former world table tennis champion, Jean-Philippe Gatien, now sports director of Paris 2024, and four-time Olympic swimming gold medallist Janet Evans, director of athlete relations, at Los Angeles 2028.