Canoe silhouette

The ICF strongly condemns harassment and abuse in all forms at any time and is committed to preventing this conduct. This page outlines the policies relating to the sport of canoeing, and the areas covered by the policy.

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What is safeguarding?

Safeguarding ensures an athletic environment that is respectful, equitable and free from all forms of abuse and harassment of athletes.

Why is safeguarding important?

The safeguarding policy is needed to secure the most appropriate environment for the development of the athletes from their childhood onwards. It is formulated to protect the physical and psychological integrity of the athletes and any other person related to the paddling family.

Who does the safeguarding policy apply to?

All personnel involved in the sport of canoeing at any level must adhere to this policy, including but not limited to:

    • Athletes without restrictions of age, gender or abilities.
    • Athletes entourage
    • Coaches
    • Medical and para-medical personnel
    • Paracanoeing classifiers
    • Executive Committee and Board of Directors members of the ICF, continental associations and national federations
    • Administrative Staff
    • Officials
    • Volunteers
    • Sponsors
    • Suppliers and providers
    • All personnel accredited by the ICF and the host organising committee
How can I report harassment or abuse in the sport of canoeing?

If you or someone you know are in immediate danger you should contact law enforcement authorities in your country.

A report form is available to guide the provision of the necessary information to the ICF. The report form should be sent to

Please use the ICF form in the first instance, but the following alternative options are also available:

What are the definitions used for harassment and abuse?

Harassment and abuse are considered to be on a continuum; and therefore, should not be separated.

Harassment and abuse can be based on any grounds including race, religion, colour, creed, ethnic origin, physical attributes, gender, sexual orientation, age disability, socio-economic status and athletic ability. It can include a one-off incident or a series of incidents. It may be in person or online. All participants are susceptible to being a target of various forms of harassment and abuse.

Harassment and abuse often result from an abuse of authority, meaning the improper use of a position of influence, power or authority by an individual against another person.

Harassment or abuse may be deliberate, unsolicited and/or coercive. It may be in the form of bullying, hazing, homophobia, neglect, negligence, and physical, psychological or sexual abuse or harassment. View the detailed definition of each term.

What are the limits of the ICF's jurisdiction?

The ICF will investigate all complaints to review any alleged offences or breaches of conduct. 

Where possible criminal activities may have occurred the ICF will work with the appropriate legal authorities.

The ICF Ethics Commission will be the body to decide any suitable course of action if there has been a breach of the ICF rules.

ICF policy: Prevention of Harassment and Abuse in Sport (PHAS)

Download the full policy

Want to learn more?

Complete the IOC education online. Through ten scenarios, discover what harassment and abuse in sports means; the forms it can take; how you can identify and prevent it; and ultimately how you can protect yourself and others. Suitable for children and adults, and available in English, French, Spanish and Russian.