Story at a glance:

  • An IFSC broadcast inappropriately filmed Johanna Farber.
  • The two commentators for the event criticized and apologized for the incident later in the broadcast.
  • This is the second time a broadcaster inappropriately filmed the climber.

The International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) issued an apology over the weekend to Austrian climber Johanna Farber after inappropriate images of her were broadcast during the World Championships. 

During the semifinals last week, the event’s broadcaster filmed and aired a closeup replay of Farber’s bottom while she was bouldering. The broadcast and immediate backlash prompted the sports governing body to post an apology, CNN reports.

Commentator Matt Groom also issued an immediate apology on the broadcast, and co-commentator and fellow climber Hannah Meul also criticized the incident later in the broadcast, according to reports.


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“The International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) would like to deeply apologize to Johanna Färber, Austria Climbing, all the athletes, and the entire Sport Climbing community for the images that were broadcast today during the women’s Boulder semi-final at the IFSC Climbing World Championships Moscow 2021,” the federation said in a statement. “The IFSC condemns the objectification of the human body and will take further action in order for it to stop, and to protect the athletes.”

Färber took to Instagram to discuss her frustration.

“Honestly wtf?” Farber reportedly wrote on Instagram at the time, according to the Daily Mail. “Having this slow-motion clip shown on NATIONAL TV and YouTube live stream is so disrespectful and upsetting.”

“I’m an athlete and here to show my best performance. To be honest I do really feel so embarrassed to know that thousands of people saw this. We need to stop sexualizing women in sports and start to appreciate their performance.”

Her frustration was shared by IFSC president Marco Scholaris, who condemned the broadcast. 

“How many times will things have to be done wrong before we learn how to do them right?” Scholaris said in a statement, according to CNN. 

This is the second time a sports broadcast inappropriately filmed Farber.  

In June, broadcaster ORF reportedly zoomed in on Farber and the athlete called the incident “disrespectful and upsetting,” according to Inside The Games. 

Former climber and editor-in-chief of Climbing.com, Natalie Berry, also shamed the broadcasters in an interview with Sky News

“For this disrespectful incident to happen once again to the same athlete is very disappointing, at a time when more eyes are on the sport than ever before and more women and girls are being introduced to climbing,” Berry said.


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Published on Sep 20, 2021