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Fair Play Charter PDF Print E-mail
 
Fair Play is an unstated rule, as it is dictated by a code of honour.
Fair Play is a way of thinking, rather than a mere way of behaving.
Fair Play means to be loyal and abide by the rules.
Without Fair Play, Weightlifting is no longer a sport.


A Commission known as the “Fair Play Commission” has been established within the Mediterranean Weightlifting Confederation (also referred to as the MWC). Its purpose is to encourage all those who are involved in Weightlifting to act with loyalty and according to ethical and moral values.

Article 1
The MWC shall award the “International Fair Play Award” according to the following rules:
The prize shall be awarded on a yearly basis to individuals who during the previous year distinguished themselves for any or several of the following reasons:
a-    Gesture: to an individual or team whose fair play gesture during an event resulted or may have resulted in defeat or at any rate detracted from the result attained during such event;
b-    Career: to an individual who during his/her sports career and as a result of his/her conduct has distinguished himself/herself for his/her consistent fair play-oriented attitude; has complied with the unstated rules of sport; has not taken advantage of his/her opponents’ misfortune, and has constantly observed the Referees’ decisions, even if he/she considered them wrong;
c-    Promotion: to an individual, country or organisation engaging in activities that promote fair play by organising awareness-raising campaigns through press conferences, radio and television media or similar means.

Article 2
A Fair Play Commission has been established with the task of assessing the eligibility of the award candidates. The Commission shall (a) consist of three members, (b) remain in office for a four-year Olympic term and (c) be nominated by the Executive Board.

Article 3
The candidates’ names must be notified, by anyone whomsoever, to the Commission at the Secretariat. Self-candidatures shall not be accepted.
Article 4
The Commission shall meet to assess the candidatures and shall select the winner at its sole discretion, its decision being final. The Commission shall likewise have the power not to proceed with the award if the candidates being proposed do not appear to be eligible.
Article 5
The Commission shall award the following prizes:
a-    Fair Play Plate
b-    Diploma of Honour
Article 6
The prizes shall be awarded in a solemn fashion during a meeting, preferably on the occasion of the "Mediterranean Cup".
Article 7
Individuals who have already received the award may be awarded prizes in subsequent years only for reasons other than those relating to previous awards, unless at a time after the award they again highly distinguished themselves in the same area as the one for which they received the award.

THE FAIR PLAY CHARTER

1.    Turning every sports event, regardless of the competition level, into a special occasion, a time of social gathering, a festival-like get-together.
2.    Engaging in sport activities for fun and with loyalty.
3.    Complying with Weightlifting rules.
4.    Respecting the opponents, referees and anyone attending the competition.
5.    Abiding by the Referees’ decisions.
6.    Avoiding acting spitefully and aggressively both verbally and in writing.
7.    Refraining from resorting to artifices or acting deceitfully in order to reach success.
8.    Displaying always worthiness in victory as well as defeat.
9.    Helping anyone who may be in need through support, experience and understanding.
10.    Acting as a standard-bearer of sport and Weightlifting in particular, helping ensure compliance with Fair Play principles.
11.    Reporting anyone who attempts to discredit Weightlifting and sport in general.
12.    Rejecting corruption, doping, racism, violence and anything that may harm sport.
13.    Honour those who advocate sport’s good reputation.


Competitive sport can meet many of man’s physical, psychological and social needs. In particular, it can provide each individual, regardless of his/her age and status, with the opportunity to develop skills and enhance both individual and collective relationships. Sport can also significantly help improve the quality of life. Without Fair Play, however, sport loses this power whatever the competition level, whether non competitive or competitive sport is involved. Fair Play is undermined by the increasing quest for victory at any cost. We believe that competitive sport is drifting towards crisis. If Weightlifting wants to reach the goals being pursued and play a role, and if on the long term it wants to survive as an effective expression of human activity, then the need for it to adopt Fair Play is both essential as well as pressing.


Threats Looming Over Sport and Fair Play
The main threat looming over Fair Play is to be found in the excessive importance currently ascribed to victory, since victory is viewed as a source of prestige for the athlete, the club or the organisation and country he/she represents. While competing to win is the core of sports contests, being over concerned with victory leads the participants to increasingly break the rules. Spurred on by excited and fanatic masses, they challenge and disregard the referee’s authority. For fear of failure, they go as far as considering their opponents as enemies to be dealt with and sometimes, with the aid of officials and coaches, they resort to unfair methods in order to reach their goals.

The Athletes’ Responsibility
Athletes play a crucial role in safeguarding and promoting Fair Play principles. Regardless of the contribution other parties may give to sustaining Fair Play, it is the athletes who eventually make a competition fair or unfair. Foremost, they set an example. By consistently complying with the rules, displaying a genuine competitive spirit, consistently and totally respecting the referee, team mates, opponents and spectators, they have the power to extol the meaning of Fair Play.
They strive for victory, but not at any cost through cheating, foul play, the abuse of stimulants or other prohibited substances. They do not challenge the referee's decision, nor do they encourage anyone, especially spectators, to do so. They accept victory or defeat with composure and will always make their best effort. However, because of TV coverage and with masses of fans adoring them, champions can have a strong impact. By displaying an exemplary conduct, champions can therefore rely on a privileged position to persuade other sportspeople to compete loyally, with special emphasis on young athletes. Unfortunately, by showing contempt for rules and a so-what attitude towards the others, champions can by the same token encourage them to disregard any and every rule.

The Sports Organisations’ Responsibility
The need to organise different types of sports competitions and take care of the training and coaching of referees, coaches and athletes has resulted in sports organisations being established.
Over the years, an extensive and complex array of gymnasia governed by regional, national and international organisations have been set up to meet an increasing sport activity demand. These organisations, who often represent the sovereign authority, are therefore extremely powerful. Yet, important responsibilities, including Fair Play, underlie such a power.
Sports organisations are not anonymous bureaucratic entities: their voluntary as well as remunerated members are often disinterested individuals who have retired from competitive sport. They have grown an affection for sport, generally developed during their outstanding sports careers, and they inevitably identify with the clubs that their organisations represent.
As a result, they must not allow their fondness for their respective societies to overshadow the notion of Fair Play. Sports organisations are thus called upon to clearly define sports behaviour ethics through rules and regulations and ensure that these are thoroughly observed. To this end, they should consider using any means to promote the Fair Play ideal and, more importantly, educate the athletes to concretely observe such ideal.
These organisations portray the image of sport and have a special responsibility, as they must safeguard dignity through a cautious, yet proper, use of authority. It is essential that they act firmly against any foul play, violence, anything that jeopardises Fair Play and seriously harms an organisation’s reputation.
Champions are subject to strong pressure to win, as victory brings prestige not only to the athlete but to the club and his/her coach, including tangible benefits. Since the champions’ conduct and reactions can have a significant impact, it is essential that they, more than anybody else, look at Fair Play as a guiding principle.

The Coaches’ and Trainers’ Responsibility
Coaches are responsible to the extent that the spirit and conduct of an athlete often mirror the degree of his/her coach’s belief in Fair Play. Coaches greatly influence the formation of a competitor’s character, especially in young athletes, as they are more easily influenced.
Inevitably, the tight bond uniting the athlete to his/her coach due to learning needs leads the former to be influenced by the latter’s conduct and ethic values. Usually, we are led to believe that a coach’s task is to take care of an athlete’s skills and physical training. A completely wrong assumption.
Both in professional and amateur sport, the coaches’ attitude should be based on Fair Play and coaches should constantly endeavour to show that they consider Fair Play as synonymous with integrity and dignity.
Coaches should take appropriate action against any athlete who knowingly mocks at Fair Play.
They should likewise make every effort to protect an athlete from influences that may lead him/her to break the rules or somehow thwart Fair Play principles. Coaches should comply with all the rules governing their sports activity, such as those prohibiting the use of stimulants and those concerning the engagement of young athletes.
All those who hold an executive position in competitive sport should endeavour to eagerly spread the Fair Play ideal.

The Referees’ Responsibility
Regardless of the type of competition and whether performing before a large or small audience, the role of the referee is to ensure full compliance with the rules throughout the competition. To this end, the referee’s contribution to promoting Fair Play is unique and crucial. Being witness and judge at the same time, referees are vested with special powers in their capacity, to the extent that their decision, even if wrong, is final, as it should be if their authority is not to be challenged. However, such extraordinary powers involve responsibilities. Referees need to work hard to gain a thorough knowledge of the rules and regulations and be able to interpret them in the most current manner. Referees must be in close contact with athletes and coaches, as this not only allows them to gain a better understanding of the athletes’ and coaches’ views, but also improves the athletes’ and coaches’ trust in referees.
The referees’ personality and technical expertise can have a crucial impact: self-possession, courage, goodwill and perseverance are properties that greatly contribute to a referee’s performance.
Referees should be aware that sometimes a word or a gesture addressed to the athletes and coaches or even to the spectators will be enough to restore the essential conditions ensuring the correct and smooth running of a competition. Referees do not operate just at the competition site. Indeed, their degree of reliability will increase significantly, even during minor competitions, if they try to relate to the participants before and after the competition, the purpose being first to create an environment of trust and co-operation, and then explain their decisions and pinpoint any unfair conduct.
Referees are in no way obliged to seek such an additional contact, yet if they manage to do so they will see their authority grow stronger, while contributing to the promotion of Fair Play principles.

The Doctors’ and Assistants’ Responsibility
A doctor’s main responsibility is to safeguard the health and general wellbeing of an athlete, though some medical decisions can have an impact on Fair Play.
Just like anyone involved in competitive sport, doctors are also under pressure. Driven by a strong personal identification, whether with an athlete, a club, an organisation or the country being represented, doctors may, regardless of their professional code, make decisions or act in ways that while being consistent with an athlete’s best interest clash with Fair Play principles. At a time when the illegal use of stimulants to enhance sports performance has developed to such an extent as to become one of the major problems to be tackled, doctors play a special role in ensuring that the current regulations governing the administration of chemical substances and treatment in general are fully complied with by athletes and doctors alike.
Doctors should never prescribe drugs without having first effectively checked their harmlessness. Undoubtedly, whether or not a doctor should advise an injured athlete to withdraw from a competition or continue to compete is a tough decision, especially if the athlete’s presence or absence can have major repercussions on the outcome or, where applicable, revenues.
Still, Fair Play in respect of the opponent as well as the medical code would require the doctor to make his/her decision based solely on the athlete’s physical condition.