According to the World Athletics study, women became the target of 87% of social media abuse during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The research took place in partnership with the data science company Signify Group and they noticed that the abuses comprised of racist, transphobic, sexist and homophobic content, as well as baseless doping accusations.
The research also showed that in total there were 161 Twitter handles of current and former athletes (81 women, 80 men) which participated in the 2020 Olympics from a list of 200 athletes carefully chosen by the World Athletics.
A total of 16 athletes out of 23 were women who received abuse on social media. While 63% of the total abuse was engaged at two black female athletes.
The study further identified a total of 132 discriminatory posts and 10% of abuse contained transphobic (9%) and homophobic (1%) material.
World Athletics President, Sebastian Coe, said, “When we published our Safeguarding Policy earlier this month, I said athletics clubs, schools and community sports environments should be safe and happy places for those in our sport.”
“This research is disturbing in so many ways but what strikes me the most is that the abuse is targeted at individuals who are celebrating and sharing their performances and talent as a way to inspire and motivate people,” he further stated.
World Athletics mentioned that to create a safer environment for athletes, they would be having additional research in this sector to introduce an online abuse framework for their social media networks.