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Inclusion, fairness and non-discrimination in sport: a wider lens
  1. Sheree Bekker1,
  2. Ryan Storr2,
  3. Anna Posbergh3
  1. 1 Centre for Health and Injury and Illness Prevention in Sport, Department for Health, University of Bath, Bath, UK
  2. 2 Sport Innovation Research Group, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia
  3. 3 Department of Kinesiology, University of Maryland at College Park, College Park, Maryland, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sheree Bekker, Department for Health, University of Bath, Bath BA2 7AY, UK; s.bekker{at}

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Sport and Exercise Medicine (SEM) practitioners have, in recent years, taken a leading role in two immensely important areas of research and practice: safeguarding athletes1 and athlete mental health.2 We, as a field, recognise that these intertwined, pressing and growing concerns are becoming more visible thanks to the power of athlete voice.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has also taken a leadership role in these two areas . Driven by affected stakeholders (athletes) who have experienced harm, and resultant increased legal and social pressure, in March 2020 the IOC recognised harassment and abuse as a current human rights challenge.3 In doing so, the IOC drew on the 2016 IOC Consensus Statement on Harassment and Abuse1 and testimonies of affected athletes to recognise that LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and other gender expansive people) athletes are at ‘particular risk of harm and structural discrimination’ in unique ways (eg, governance structures and policies that allow abuse to occur).3 As a result, the IOC took stock of how International Federations approached and applied eligibility regulations for women’s sport, particularly in light of scrutiny by …

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  • Twitter @shereebekker, @annaposbergh

  • Contributors SB drafted the first version of this editorial. RS and AP critically reviewed and added to subsequent drafts. All authors approved the final version.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests SB completed her PhD in 2018 at the Australian Collaboration for Research into Injury in Sport and its Prevention (ACRISP), an International Olympic Committee Research Centre. RS is a Co-Founder of Proud2Play Inc. AP received funding in 2020 from the International Olympic Committee Solidarity as part of the PhD Students and Early Career Academics Grant Programme for a research project on 'Fairness and Contemporary Sex Reassignment Regulations: Contextualizing Scientific Understandings of "Fair Play"’.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.