Athletes News

Olympic Games Event programme clarification

Dear Abhinav,

Thank you very much for your letter of 29 May requesting clarification on several questions raised by ISSF AC. Please find below responses on the various points.

Olympic Games Event programme clarification

“Could you clarify the process of adding / removing events in the Olympic programme and the respective role of the ISSF and IOC in the decision-making process?”

The Olympic Programme Commission has the responsibility of analyzing the event programme and athlete quotas for each edition of the Olympic Games and forming proposals for consideration and decision by the IOC Executive Board.

As per the Olympic Charter, the Olympic programme is defined by the following milestones:

• The sports to be confirmed 7 years out by the IOC Session, at the same time of the awarding of the Games. Following this, additional sports can only be proposed by the respective Olympic Games Organizing Committee.

• The event programme to be confirmed 3 years out by the IOC Executive Board. The event proposal, including the competition format, is developed by the respective International Federations and subject to IOC Executive Board approval following review by the Olympic Programme Commission.

Several guiding principles are considered by the IOC in all decisions related to the event programme, including:

- The focus on innovation and appropriate adaptation to new trends while respecting the history and the tradition of the sport

- Containment of cost and complexity in order to ensure the sustainability of the Olympic Games

- Universality and sporting value

- Increasing sustainable gender equality

- Reaching to out to new, youthful audiences

On February 2017 the ISSF Executive Committee made a proposal to the IOC to change three (3) Men’s events (50m Pistol Men, 50m Rifle Prone Men and Double Trap Men), into three Mixed Team events for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. This proposal took into consideration the findings of the Rio 2016 event-based data analysis conducted by the IOC in the areas of television audiences, digital media coverage, other media coverage, general public feedback and ticket demand. Following approval of the IOC Executive Board in June 2017, this proposal was then approved in December 2017 by the ISSF Administrative Council, the 35-person body elected by the ISSF General Assembly responsible for approval of technical rules for shooting events.

In summary the role of the International Federation is to act as the expert and guide for its sport and to make requests for changes to the IOC Executive Board which has the exclusive authority to decide the events on the Olympic Programme and the relevant athlete quotas.

Changes to the event programme

“As pointed out in the previous ISSF AC letter, there are some rumours that the ISSF could (already) lose the three Mixed team events after Tokyo. Could you explain the IOC position on these concerns?”

Any changes to the Olympic event programme are not taken lightly, and with full consideration for athletes, NFs and NOCs as well as the ongoing development of the Olympic programme and Olympic Games. The IOC has no intention to act without due notice and an open collaborative approach with the respective International Federation. We also do not make ad hoc decisions or recommendations without full dialogue with the respective International Federation.

In this regard we can confirm that a new IOC event-based analysis will be run for all sports and events at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. This study will provide a comprehensive insight into shooting sports within the context of the Olympic Games and it will be used for future considerations and potential improvements, but at this stage we want to reassure athletes that no outcomes have been pre-determined or in fact are under discussion at this stage.

“The ISSF has recently initiated a testing period for developing a new format for three Mixed Team events. This resulted, in the case of pistol and rifle events, in the adoption of three different formats in as many World Cup stages (New Delhi-Beijing-Munich). What is the process for a change in format of an Olympic event? Keeping in mind the growing concerns about a potential change at this late stage, is there a final deadline to lock in the format for Tokyo 2020? Would the ISSF AC proposal to collect feedback via live poll at the last WC stage of the season (end of August 2019) be compatible with your timeline?”

As mentioned previously, the ISSF is entitled to review the format of its events to continuously innovate and improve the attractiveness of Shooting sport. However, while respecting and supporting this principle, the IOC acknowledges the specific concerns regarding the timing of the current proposal raised by the ISSF Athletes’ Commission in the letter sent to the IOC Athletes’ Commission on 26 April.

Considering the exceptional circumstances of a potential change of format (e.g. number of finalists, number of shots, shots-sequence and timing) with less than 500 days to go to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the IOC strongly encouraged the ISSF to substantiate theproposal with:

I) Evidence that the new proposed format is more attractive for the broadcast and digital audiences and in-venue spectators and

II) Expressions of support from the athletes’ community as result of a comprehensive consultation process.

In regards to the timeline, it should be noted that in order to ensure minimal impact on Tokyo’s operational planning and ticket sales, the IOC has requested the ISSF to submit any potential request of change in competition format no later than 14 July 2019.

While we fully support the proposal of a live poll with the athletes participating at the ISSF World Cup, since such pool of athletes includes the vast majority of the Olympians that will compete at Tokyo 2020, we encourage the ISSF and its Athletes Commission to accelerate the consultation process in order to meet the deadline abovementioned.

Comments on the technical requirements

“What is the role of the IOC regarding technical matters such as a new dress code for shooting athletes, number of competition shots, etc?”

IOC respects the technical rules or regulations of each International Federations and does not interfere in the technical matters of each sport unless there is a direct impact on the organising committee, other Games stakeholders or ourselves. We in fact remain available along with our partners such as Olympic Broadcast Services, sport presentation experts and others to provide some considerations to the process.

The only IOC requirements in terms of the uniforms have been reflected in the IOC Gender Equality Review recommendations that have been shared with all the IFs (, which among the other principles underline the importance of having competition uniforms that reflect the technical requirements of the sportand do not have any unjustifiable differences.

I remain at your disposal for any questions you may have.

Very best regards,


Sports Director

Original letter