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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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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.