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Lausanne: Anna Arzhanova for Sportaccord Presidency

Democratic participation, sport without barriers, fight against doping, full cooperation with IOC and multisport games: these are the main points of CMAS

di Flavia Cruciani

LOSANNA – On April 22 in Lausanne, a woman may take the lead of Sportaccord, the umbrella organisation for all (Olympic and non-Olympic) international sports federations and other entities active in sport worldwide. Anna Arzhanova, 46 years old, Russian, former member of the Russian Junior National Team of Shooting, and currently president of the World Underwater Confederation, may be the first woman to be elected to the presidency of Sportaccord. Anna’s recipe to re-launch Sportaccord after one year of interim management is simple  and clear. Sportaccord member International Sport Federations should keep on having a direct participation in the life of Sportaccord and vote for the election of their leaders and for the approval of the governance rules. Sportaccord is an extraordinary aggregation platform for dozens of IFs and they should continue to use it to share experiences, best practices and cooperate closely towards the achievement of higher levels of development. Sportaccord must cooperate with all sport stakeholders, mainly the IOC, with which the aim of Anna is that of re-establishing good relations and a stronger cooperation. Anna’s approach starts from a very simple consideration: all sport federations, whether Olympic or not, pursue their mission and scopes drawing inspiration from the principles of Olympism and hence Sportaccord have to walk hand in hand with the IOC and avoid conflicts. In order to heal Sportaccord from the current financial shortages Sportaccord should re-launch the multisport games for those sport disciplines not included in the Olympic program and thus profit from the exploitation of these events. Especially now that there is the Olympic Channel, which is an extraordinary opportunity to give visibility to dozens of disciplines which are not in the Olympic program and thank to that perhaps one day allow them to be eligible to the Olympics. As a former athlete herself, Anna profoundly respects the daily strenuous work of all athletes and she is fully committed to guarantee a fair and clean sport in the best interest of the athletes themselves and of sport in general. The fight against doping, against match fixing and all forms of cheating is on top of her priorities. The role of Sportaccord in this is pivotal: Sportaccord has to keep on committing more efforts to sustain and support the IFs and educate athletes, particularly the young generations, to say no to any form of fraud, because a real champion is a clean champion. Being a woman is not a handicap for Anna, who is instead inspired by the words of Thomas Bach, IOC President: «Olympic Charter compels to encourage and support the promotion of women in sport at all levels». After all, good governance, and however the principles of Olympism, always reject any kind of discrimination based on disabilities, or diversities of either gender, nationality, religion or political beliefs. Sport unifies the world. Such a plan may sound too ambitious without large shoulders or pushes from some shadow godfathers, but Anna says that she is stimulated solely by her ideas and vision and draws strength and motivation from those who shares her projects and enthusiasm. Anna sounds passionate for sport and seems to have a clear vision. After all, she says she draws inspiration from Claudio Ranieri and his Leicster, highlighting that if one has clear objectives, passion and the capacity to motivate people, even the most unforeseeable things can happen.


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