The Kamila Valieva case has led to renewed debate over age limits at the Olympic Games ©Getty Images

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has recommended International Federations address minimum age limits in their sport.

The recommendation was made by the IOC Executive Board as the qualification system for Paris 2024 was approved last week.

International Federations were advised to make "appropriate adjustments to their regulations", if needed.

Minimum age limits became a key topic following the controversy surrounding 15-year-old Kamila Valieva at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.

IOC President Thomas Bach had suggested World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) rules may need reviewing, with debate that Valieva’s status as a protected person under the World Anti-Doping Code had not delivered a fair competition.

Valieva had been cleared to compete in the women’s singles competition at the Games, after the Court of Arbitration for Sport decided against re-imposing a provisional suspension on the skater following her positive drug test.

The CAS panel had claimed prohibiting Valieva from competing could cause "irreparable harm."

Valieva saw her hopes of women’s singles gold end following a series of falls, with the Russian skater placing fourth.

Bach said after the event that the pressure experienced by Valieva was "beyond my imagination", with the teenager having been the subject of intense focus during the Games.

The IOC President had heavily criticised Valieva’s entourage, including coach Eteri Tutberidze, who he claimed had created a "chilling atmosphere."

The case led to the IOC saying it wanted to give International Federations "food for thought" by raising the issue of young athletes participating under such intense spotlight.

The International Skating Union (ISU), unconnected to the Valieva case, has been considering raising its age limit for senior events from 15 to 17.

Hend Zaza competed at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics aged 12 ©Getty Images
Hend Zaza competed at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics aged 12 ©Getty Images

A proposal was reportedly made by the ISU Council following data received from its Medical Commission, with a gradual increase suggested to help protect physical and mental health of athletes, while ensuring current senior level athletes are not required to drop back down to junior level.

The Norwegian Figure Skating Association in 2020 had submitted a proposal to the ISU to increase the age limit to 17.

Dutch figure skating officials had submitted an "urgent proposal" in 2018, but it was not discussed during that year's Congress.

Their concerns stemmed from injuries to young skaters.

The IOC has, in recent years, pledged to make the Games more youthful and gender balanced, highlighted by the addition of skateboarding to the Olympic programme.

The average age of female skateboarders at Tokyo 2020 was just over 14 years old, with Momiji Nishiya of Japan winning women’s street gold at 13.

The youngest Olympian at Tokyo 2020 was Syrian table tennis player Hend Zaza.

Zaza competed in the women’s singles event when aged 12, which saw her become the youngest participant at the Olympic Games since 1968.

The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) is among the governing bodies to have an age limit in place for the Olympic Games.

Under FIG rules, gymnasts must be at least 16 years of age, or turning 16 within the calendar year, to participate at major senior level events including the Olympics.

IOC Presidential spokesperson Mark Adams had admitted during Beijing 2022 that there were challenges of having younger athletes competing at the Olympic Games but said the organisation should offer opportunities "if we can".