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30 Jul 2008
IOC News , Beijing 2008 , Medical

The IOC and Olympic IFs work together to improve athletes’ health in Beijing

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is increasingly emphasising the protection of athletes’ health and the prevention of injuries. Injury surveillance provides not only important epidemiological information, but also directions for injury prevention, and the opportunity for monitoring long-term changes in the frequency and circumstances of injury. For this reason, the IOC has decided to conduct an injury surveillance study during the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. 
A group of experienced researchers from various International Federations have worked together over the last two years to review existing injury report systems and develop a scientifically sound and practical injury surveillance system for large multi-sport events such as the Olympic Games.
The IOC injury surveillance system has recently been published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. It is based on an established injury-reporting system developed for team sports tournaments but modified to be applicable for both individual and team sports. The injury report system proved feasible for team sports during the 2004 Olympic Games and for individual sports during the 2007 IAAF World Championships, and has been established in all FIFA competitions since 1998.
During the 2008 Olympic Games, the NOC team physicians and/or physiotherapists are requested to report “all injuries (traumatic and overuse) newly incurred in competition or training during the Olympic Games, regardless of the consequences with respect to absence from competition or training” on the report forms provided, and return these to the IOC Medical Commission office on a daily basis. In order also to receive information about injured athletes from teams without a physician or medical personnel, injuries will additionally be reported by BOCOG physicians.

The IOC injury surveillance system has been accepted by the experienced team physicians, and the absolute confidentiality of all information is ensured. Our goal is to transfer science into practice. Based on the results of this study, new and improved injury prevention strategies for high level athletes will be implemented.

Learn more :
 Injury surveillance in multi-sport events - the IOC approach
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