World Athletics introduces new athletes’ representatives licensing system and safeguarding reforms

Posted: 17th August 2023

World Athletics’ Council has approved a centralised licensing system including eligibility criteria for athletes’ representatives and new safeguarding rules at its meeting before the World Athletics Championships here.

Authorised athletes’ representatives can assist their peers in negotiating relevant matters and subject applicants to vetting by a new Athletes’ Representatives Panel and an exam covering areas such as ethical compliance and safeguarding.

Athletes’ representatives will be required to “pay an annual licence fee to cover costs incurred by World Athletics, maintain professional indemnity insurance and complete a minimum amount of professional development”.

A maximum of two years has been set for athletes and representatives to enter an agreement, although this can be extended in one-year intervals, and National Federations are not permitted to regulate World Athletics athletes’ representatives.

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe explained the reasoning for the updated system, which is set to come into force on September 1.

“We have consulted with ARs and athletes around the current system, examining the practical realities faced by ARs and athletes working within the global athletics market and we believe a centralised system which sets minimum professional standards and provides ongoing professional development will lead to a better outcome for both athletes and agents,” the British International Olympic Committee member said.

Safeguarding reforms have also been introduced with new rules and the incorporation of human rights considerations into an online course.

The new rules grant World Athletics the power to order restrictions on individuals to guard against abuse, harassment or exploitation, and establish a Case Management Group to review safeguarding investigations by the Athletics Integrity Unit and make decisions on such cases.

While National Federations are responsible for managing allegations of abuse and handling concerns in their own countries, but World Athletics said its updated rules would apply to their officials “in exceptional cases”.

Human rights considerations have been added to the World Athletics safeguarding essentials e-learning course, and human rights expertise made a desired qualification for new appointments to the Executive Board and Risk Committee.

A human rights report is set to be presented to the World Athletics Congress in Budapest, scheduled for tomorrow and Friday (August 18).

Source: World Athletics approves athletes’ representatives and safeguarding reforms (

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