The Sportaccord Convention, the prestigious world sport and business summit, took place in Aarhus, Denmark, 2–7 April 2017. The delegation of IFAF, led by the IFAF President Tommy Wiking, IFAF Senior Vice-President Robert Huber and IFAF Secretary General Zorica Hofman, was present at the numerous meetings during the Convention.

One of the main topic of the event in Aarhus was election of the President of the Association of 37 International Sport Federations at the General Assembly. As it was previously announced, Mr. Raffaele Chiulli was unanimously re-elected President of ARISF, association recognized by the International Olympic Committee, for another four-year term.

Tommy Wiking (IFAF President), Patrick Baumann (Sportaccord President) Raffaele Chiulli (ARISF President), Zorica Hofman (IFAF Secretary General)
Tommy Wiking (IFAF President), Patrick Baumann (Sportaccord President) Raffaele Chiulli (ARISF President), Zorica Hofman (IFAF Secretary General)

The World Anti-Doping Agency, as part of the SportAccord Convention, held many meetings with IFs, the IOC, National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and other organizations, including the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), and also successful the fourth edition of coaching and training session with ARISF’s representatives.

This joint initiative featured a series of discussions and presentations from IF anti-doping practitioners, WADA representatives and other experts who focused on a variety of topics, including: education, results management, the evolution of SportAccord’s Doping Free Sport Unit, and the IOC’s activities with regards to stored sample re-analysis (by Dr. Denis Oswald, Chairman of the IOC Ad Hoc Disciplinary Commission).

“This fourth ARISF-WADA anti-doping workshop was extremely informative and fruitful,” said Benjamin Cohen, Director, WADA European Regional Office and IF Relations. “It allowed IFs, WADA and other anti-doping stakeholders, to share experiences and ideas in an open and stimulating fashion,” Cohen continued. “WADA is grateful to ARISF for this partnership and looks forward to continuing to work closely with all IFs, IF umbrella organizations and the IOC to further enhance the quality of anti-doping programs across all sport,” he added.

Raffaele Chiulli, newly elected ARISF President and SportAccord first Vice President said on this occasion: “We are very happy to have received full support and cooperation from WADA and I would like to particularly thank Benjamin Cohen and Frédéric Donzé for their contribution to organize the Session and all the other distinguished speakers who have kindly accepted our invitation to share their knowledge and practices namely Denis Oswald, Chairman of the IOC Ad Hoc Disciplinary Commission, Matteo Vallini, Head of SportAccord Doping Free Sport Unit, Riccardo La Cognata Head of UIM President Office and Tom Dielen Secretary General World Archery. I do believe that the ARISF/WADA Anti-Doping Coaching/Training Session, held every year since 2014 at the SportAccord Convention, is an excellent open platform for International Federations (IFs) and any individual or organization involved or interested in clean sport to share expertise, experiences and views in an open and transparent way in focus areas such as prevention, information sharing, doping control, results management and other key elements of the protection of the clean athlete.”

Statute changes

The statute changes approved at the General Assembly included the much discussed change of name of SportAccord, the umbrella body of international sport federations. SportAccord will now revert to its previous acronym GAISF, which in its founding in 1967 stood for the General Assembly of International Sport Federations, before being altered to the General Association of International Sport Federations.

Two-year rotating presidency

The second statute change includes a rotating two-year presidency within the association, in a bid to “underline the voice of all stakeholders”. The four representative stakeholders/umbrella unions: ASOIF (Association of Summer Olympic International Federations), AIOWF (Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations), ARISF (Association of IOC Recognised International Sports Federations), and AIMS (Alliance of Independent Recognised Members of Sport –non-Olympic), will now have their representatives rotating within the leadership of GAISF on a two-year basis.

The Global Assembly of International Sports Federations (SportAccord) is the umbrella organisation for all (Olympic and non-Olympic) international sports federations as well as organisers of multi-sports games and sport-related international associations. SportAccord is an international sport organisation with 92 full members (international sports federations governing specific sports worldwide) and 17 associate members (organisations which conduct activities closely related to the international sports federations).

This year’s convention in Aarhus was attended by 1.600 delegates in 740 organizations, more than 100 IFs and associate members.

Next stop for the IFAF’s delegation will be the IF Forum in Lausanne, Switzerland, 8–10 November 2017.

Sportaccord Convention 2018 is going to take place in Bangkok, Thailand, 15–20 April.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images