The Olympic Charter is the codification of the Fundamental Principles of Olympism, Rules and Bye-Laws adopted by the International Olympic Committee. It governs the organisation, action and operation of the Olympic Movement and sets forth the conditions for the celebration of the Olympic Games.”
It was not until 1908 that the first edition of a “Charter” was published by the IOC and not until 1978 that the title “Olympic Charter” was actually used for the document. In comparison to today’s version, the first edition was simple in its content. Along with basic rules on recruitment of members, the holding of meetings and the administration of the IOC, it included the four points on the mission of the IOC that had originally been put down on paper by Pierre de Coubertin as early as 1899. Over the years, the rules have been expanded and modified a number of times in order to deal with the growth and evolving complexity of the Olympic Movement and the Olympic Games.
Today, the Olympic Charter includes rules which define the relationship of the International Federations and the NOCs to the Olympic Movement, as well as addressing such essential elements as the Olympic Games host city selection process, the eligibility code for the Games, the make-up of the Olympic sports programme and rules for arbitration in case of disputes.
The Olympic Charterin force as from 9 September 2013