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Rules and Regulation

Chapter II: Protection and Promotion of the Athlete’s Health during Training and Competition

Chapter II: Protection and Promotion of the Athlete’s Health during Training and Competition 

7. General Principles 

7.1 No practice constituting any form of physical injury or psychological harm to athletes should be acceptable. The members of the Olympic Movement ensure that the athletes’ conditions of safety, well-being and medical care are favourable to their physical and mental equilibrium. They must adopt the necessary measures to achieve this end and to minimize the risk of injuries and illness. The participation of sports physicians is desirable in the drafting of such measures. 

7.2 In each sports discipline, minimal safety requirements must be defined and applied with a view to protecting the health of the athletes and the public during training and competition. Depending on the sport and the level of competition, specific rules should be adopted regarding the sports venues, the safe environmental conditions, the sports equipment authorized or prohibited, and the training and competition programmes. The specific needs of each athlete category must be respected. 

7.3 For the benefit of all concerned, measures to safeguard the health of the athletes and to minimise the risks of physical injury and psychological harm should be publicised in order to benefit all those concerned. 

7.4 The measures for the protection and the promotion of the athletes’ health should be based on the latest recognised medical knowledge. 

7.5 Research in sports medicine and sports sciences is encouraged. It should be conducted in accordance with the recognised principles of research ethics, in particular the Helsinki Declaration adopted by the World Medical Association (last revised in Seoul, 2008), and the applicable law. It must never be conducted in a manner which could harm an athlete’s health or jeopardise his or her performance. The voluntary and informed consent of the athletes to participate in such research is required. 

7.6 Advances in sports medicine and sports science must not be withheld, and should be published and widely disseminated. 

8. Fitness to Practise a Sport 

8.1 Except when there are symptoms or a significant family medical history, the practice of sport for all does not require undergoing a fitness test. The choice to undergo such a test is the responsibility of the personal physician. 

8.2 For competitive sport, athletes may be required to present a medical certificate confirming that there are no apparent contraindications. The fitness test should be based on the latest recognised medical knowledge and performed by a specially trained physician.

8.3 A pre-participation medical test is recommended for high level athletes. It should be performed under the responsibility of a specially trained physician. 

8.4 Any genetic test that attempts to gauge a particular capacity to practise a sport constitutes a medical evaluation to be performed solely under the responsibility of a specially trained physician. 

9. Medical Support 

9.1 In each sports discipline, guidelines must be established regarding the necessary medical support depending on the nature of the sports activities and the level of competition. 

These guidelines should address, but not be limited to, the following points: 

• the medical coverage of training and competition venues and how this is organised; 

• the necessary resources (supplies, premises, vehicles, etc.); 

• the procedures in case of emergencies; 

• the system of communication between the medical support services, the organisers and the competent health authorities. 

9.2 In the case of a serious incident occurring during training or competition, there should be procedures to provide the necessary support to those injured, by evacuating them to the competent medical services when needed. The athletes, coaches and persons associated with the sports activity should be informed of those procedures and receive the necessary training for their implementation. 

9.3 To reinforce safety in the practice of sports, a mechanism should exist to allow for data collection with regard to injuries sustained during training or competition. When identifiable, such data should be collected with the consent of those concerned, and be treated confidentially and in accordance with the recognised ethical principles of research.