USA Gymnastics says it has sent a memo to all clubs to stop the practice of using the word “disqualified” to describe athletes who are on the verge of returning to competition, citing “an evolving definition of a disqualifier” in the Olympic Charter.
The move comes after the IOC’s Office for the Coaching Profession sent a letter to all member federations in June, telling them to stop using the term to describe the athletes who were suspended.
“It is clear that the term ‘disqualified’ has become increasingly problematic in relation to the issue of athletes returning to compete,” the memo said.
“This issue is particularly relevant for the USA Gymns, which has not yet been given a clear definition of the term.”
It is now understood the IOC has decided to take a “consistent approach” to this issue.
The memo came a day after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said it was suspending the IOCs Olympic Charter to “ensure the rights of all athletes to be treated with dignity”.
“We have decided to suspend the Olympic charter and to ensure the rights and interests of athletes are protected in accordance with the spirit of the Olympic Constitution,” IOC President Thomas Bach said in a statement.
“The Charter has not been suspended in this way before.
It has been suspended to ensure that it is possible for athletes who have been suspended or have been denied eligibility to participate in Olympic sports and that their rights are protected.”
In the letter to clubs, USA Gymnoastics said it had been given “new information” by the IOC, and would be making further updates.
“The IOC is of the view that the use of the word ‘disqualified’ to describe an athlete who is on the brink of returning is not in line with the Olympic values,” it said.
It added that it has “serious concerns” about “how it is being used”.USA Gymnasts have been using the phrase “disqualification” to refer to those who have returned from suspension for years, with the US national team team coach Mark Simone telling USA Gymlifting on Saturday that he did not believe it was an accurate descriptor.
“I’m sure they [the athletes] would be proud of that,” Simone said.
“But we know that they are on probation, and they have to be on probation.
That’s their job.
They are the ones that have to get back in shape.””
They’re doing that.”USA Gyms suspension of athletes with “disconnected status” was criticised by Olympic sports rights activist Tony Fernandes, who said: “This is a huge problem for the sport of gymnastics.
It’s an issue that we are all working on.”USA was among the organisations to vote against the Olympic Committee’s new policy, but the letter from USA Gymnosium to clubs was signed by all but four of the world’s member federates.
Athletes have been banned from competition in two major sports for a period of three years if they have been disqualified by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).
This was despite an Olympic Charter provision that allows members to “discontinue competition, including any events or competitions”, if they “fail to fulfil a full programme of training, preparation and competing obligations”.
USA Gymnosia said it could not explain why the ban was being used for those who were still competing.
It said it “has taken into account and taken into consideration the specific context of the current and previous decisions of the IOC on the Olympic Code”.
“The suspension of any athlete or a member of an athlete’s team for any reason does not constitute an infringement of the rights or interests of the athlete, team or any other member of the team, nor constitutes a violation of the athletes’ contractual rights or obligations,” it added.
“We cannot explain why a suspension of a member or a team member for any of these reasons is being imposed.”USA said it would continue to support its athletes.”USA has consistently supported our athletes during their disciplinary actions, and will continue to work with the IOC and the other members of the sport to ensure a smooth return to competition,” it wrote.
USA Gymno has been a member since 1996.