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International Sports Federation Charter

This Charter is a technical piece of work, not really relating to bodybuilding, but we have had requests for it. The IFBB has ratified this Charter, and consider it a part of their constitution. This International Sport Federations Charter has been adopted by the General Association of International Sports Federation (GAISF) Member Organizations meeting at their General Assembly on November 5th, 1988, in Lausanne, Switzerland. The IFBB is a member of the GAISF. This is a copy of the complete text of the Charter.


The International Sports Federations members of the General Association of International Sports Federations wish, through this Charter, to reaffirm the essential and universal goal on non-government sports organizations, and to define the present goals, duties and competences of these sports organizations.


Sport has a social value and continues to occupy the privileged place which it enjoys today only because it is a source of emulation for youth, a school of will and perseverance, one of the last strongholds of fair-play and respect for opponents, an initiation into team spirit and camaraderie and a games practiced at all ages.

The sport-show, when not having any education counterpart, finishes by producing a product responding to spectators' expectations and to the interests of third parties. The competitor becomes a professional entertainer and ethics are converted into market strategy.

The International Sports Federations and their National Member Associations have succeeded in this century an unprecedented development on a world scale through the exclusively sportive vocation and the extraordinary contribution of their volunteers, the value of whose work together with that of financial activities created by the practice of sport largely exceed the amount of grants accorded by Government to Sport.

The International Sports Federations strive to find solutions which satisfy the demands of a modern sport while preserving ethical values, whose trustees they are.

Statue of the International Sports Federations

The International Sports Federations are assemblies of national associations which have freely and democratically adopted statutes and constituted themselves into an International Federation with the goal of organizing, harmoniously developing, and assuring their respective sport's futures and that of international sports competitions in their domains.

The International Sports Federations are principally non-profit oriented organizations of private law. The International Sports Federations are organized democratically:

  • The General Assembly is their supreme authority,
  • Their officers are elected democratically,
  • Their members with voting rights are the National Associations responsible for their Sport.

They are independent and autonomous and are bound by the decisions of their respective General Assemblies.

Each International Sports Federation has the all embracing responsibility for its sport and is an important element in international harmony.

Aims of the International Sports Federations

Each International Sports Federation, the trustee of the Sport tradition, maintains and promotes the conditions which encourage the practice and the development of its sport at all competition and recreational levels. They strive to advance the educational values of fair-play and the pleasures of the game.

Importance of Education through Sport

The International Sports Federations affirm that the practice of sport and the acceptance of its ethics is an essential component in the education of youth by teaching self discipline, respect for opponents and freely accepted rules, team spirit and good fellowship, at all levels.

Development of Sport

The International Sports Federations implement development programs aimed at their respective sports in regions which feel such a need. They endeavor to facilitate the manufacture and provision of comparable equipment for all regions. They train, educate and organize courses for athletes, coaches and officials. The International Sports Federations recognize the true importance of regional and national sports and believe that the greatest possible diversification of sports responds to the great mass of sportspeople's needs, desires and aptitudes.

Authority of the International Sports Federations

The authority of the International Sports Federations is clearly defined in their democratically established statues, approved by the national member associations, which are subject to periodical review.

The International Sports Federations shall coordinate the activities of their members, and shall ensure, in all countries where international sports events take place, conditions:

  • which conform to the rules of their respective sports which have been adopted democratically by their General Assemblies,
  • which respect the moral and physical well-being of competitors,
  • which encourages youth to continue and enhance the tradition and the practices of their predecessors.

The International Sports Federations assure by their rules and by promoting the highest standards of competence and rectitude of their judges that every competitor participates with equal opportunity.

They promote representative structures which enable practicing competitors to contribute to the management of the Federations and the development of their sport, and to have the right to a fair hearing in all cases involving sanctions.

Role & Functions of the International Sports Federations

Each International Sports Federation having complete autonomy within its own sport, has exclusive authority to:

  • legislate on the specific rules and requirements of the sport,
  • classify the competitors into categories consistent with the nature of the sport,
  • define the competitor's status and eligibility,
  • specify the relationship of the sport with any commercial organizations,
  • promote rules destined to protect the health and well-being of competitors,
  • adopt preventive measures against all unethical or illicit practices,
  • regulate the site requirements and equipment,
  • establish calendars of Championships and major events,
  • qualify and appoint technical officials (judges, referees, etc.)
  • collect, examine and ratify appropriate records.

Each International Sports Federation shall take all the necessary measures to control the fiscal management of its activities; all accounting shall be audited and available to inspection by its General Assembly according to its statutes.

The International Sports Federations shall use their income as well as their administrative and prestige expenditures for the development of their sport at all levels. The receipt of funds from media, governmental or commercial sources shall never prejudice the independence of the International Sports Federation or limit the control of the affairs which are within its competence.

Relations with Governments & Governmental Organizations

The International Sports Federations cannot ignore political considerations, but shall not permit political pressures to dominate their rules or decisions affecting their competitions or their competitors. The International Sports Federations affirm their autonomy and their independence in their sphere of authority.

They appreciate governmental support and efforts at their true value in regards to sport at all levels and offer their experience and expertise in assisting the governments. The International Sports Federations ask the governments:

  • to respect the independence and the prerogatives of voluntary sports organizations by giving strong support to the work of the voluntary staff who run and govern them,
  • to support the organization of international events in their countries by assuring free access to all eligible competitors and officials and all equipment as well as by providing conditions of security.

They reaffirm their consistent opposition to all political or economical interferences in sport. The International Sports Federation have never accepted, never participate, and must never participate in any political boycotts of any recognized international sports event. Sport often transcends frontiers that politicians cannot cross.

Relations with Non-Governmental Organizations

The International Sports Federations cooperate for their common aims through the General Association of International Federations (GAISF) and their constituent groups.

The International Sports Federations enjoy cordial and constructive relations, as equals, with the other non-governmental organizations having identical aims to their own.

The International Sports Federations are essential partners with the International Olympic Committee in the staging of the Olympic Games by assuming the technical responsibility for their events on the program and in the implementation of the Olympic Solidarity program. The International Sports Federations express their full support to the Olympic Games and to the spirit of the Olympic movement.

Relations with the Media

The International Sports Federations recognize that the media, and television in particular, play a very important role in the promotion and the development of sport and that this role may determine requestions for modifications of the traditional organization and scheduling of the events. Such modifications must never sacrifice correct competition conditions to meet TV wishes.

The International Sports Federations, while reaffirming their exclusive authority over the management of their competitions, intend to work in close cooperation with the TV organizations in order to provide an ever better signal in the international language of images:

  • to promote among the public a better knowledge and understanding of their sports,
  • to attract sponsors and event organizers and thus generate revenue for the development of sport.

The International Sports Federations desire that the image of their sport given by the media serve the aim of the development of Sport and consequently ask the media, while respecting the complete freedom of speech, to:

  • publish and broadcast the positive, ethical and educational aspects of Sport,
  • give fair exposure to all sport organized by the International Sports Federations,
  • emphasize the technical prowess of competitors rather than sensationalism,
  • give space to technical information about the sports.

The International Sports Federations confirm their intention to facilitate the work of journalists, photographers, radio and television crews by providing the most effective access to their events while respecting the needs of competitors, as well as striving to provide current technical and historical information.

Fight Against Doping

Sport is about health and honesty and doping is unhealthy and dishonest. The International Sports Federations affirm their determination to continue the fight against all attempts to influence performances through the aid of forbidden substances or forbidden practices.

In this context the International Sports Federations, while offering their loyal cooperation to National Governments and inter-governmental organizations, reaffirm their authority and their competence to:

  • define and issue lists of forbidden substances and practices,
  • designate which competitors should be tested and when, at competitions and during training,
  • establish testing procedures,
  • pronounce sanctions only after a fair hearing of the competitors and officials involved in such practices,
  • oversee the national sports associations' application the International Sports Federations' sanctions.

For a just and effective implementation of this aim, the General Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) requests its members to harmonize their sanctions and recognize each others decisions and penalties.

The International Sports Federations thank the National Governments and the intergovernmental organizations for their support. They ask the public authorities to:

  • take and apply effective restrictions on the sale and transport of doping substances and to coordinate internationally such restrictions and controls,
  • facilitate the opening of frontiers to delegates appointed by the International Sports Federations to conduct the tests,
  • promote and implement massive preventive education actions.

Fight Against Violence

The International Sports Federations are competent to deal with those acts of malicious violence which, in a few sports, occur on the playing field in the context of organized competitions. By updating regulations and thanks to the activities of judges, referees or other delegates in charge of the application of the rules, the International Sports Federations take all possible measures so that their sports, although keeping their virility, avoid all malicious violence.

The International Sports Federations are always ready to cooperate actively with the public authorities within the limits of their own authority. They consider that fights between spectators, whose unacceptable behavior aims at causing trouble at the event and even more so outside the stadium, are social phenomena.

The International Sports Federations ask the media to consider their responsibility in keeping reports on foul play within proper perspective.