Another organisation expressing concern over financial reward for gold medalists at Olympic Games

The Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (the ASOIF) has expressed their concern over the decision by World Athletics to introduce prize money for Olympic gold medallists, stating today that they were not consulted.

On April 10, athletics became the first sport to offer prize money for Olympic champions, beginning in Paris this year.

The announcement was met with a positive reaction from leading athletes globally, with the $2.4 million-dollar prize pot to be split among the 48 gold medal winners.

However it has been met with criticism from the heads of other international federations.

In a statement the ASOIF said it was neither informed nor consulted in advance of the announcement, which was made one day after its general assembly.

It went to add the ASOIF respects and defends the autonomy of each and every Member Federation…….however, when a decision by  one has a direct impact on the collective interests of the other international federations involved in the Summer Olympics……it is important and fair to discuss the matter at stake with the other federations in advance.

According to the ASOIF the move undermines the values of Olympism and the uniqueness of the games….adding one cannot and should not put a price on an olympic gold medal….and…. in many cases, olympic medallists indirectly benefit from commercial endorsements.

The statement also said not all sports could or should replicate the move, even if they wanted to…..and paying prize money in a multi-sport environment goes against the principle of solidarity…..reinforces a different set of values across the sports and opens up many questions.

They went on to say that prize money should be comparable to that awarded in top competitions in each sport….if the Olympics are considered the pinnacle of each sport……but that this is technically and financially unfeasible.

In the end……the A.S.O.I.F says the initiative opens rather than solves a number of complex issues and it will be raising these concerns with World Athletics.


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