FIG Medical Commission Broad Study Project Launched!

Lausanne, June 27, 2013: The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) Medical Commission met June 7 – 8, 2013 in Lausanne (SUI) upon invitation by its President, Dr Michel Léglise (FRA).

Among the topics on the order of the day was the updating of specifications for medical organisation at competitions, a core section of the mandatory medical and contractual rules to be used by all organizers.

Despite the fact that doping in gymnastics is a fairly rare occurrence, the Commission remains vigilant by requiring systematic drug tests at all FIG competitions in addition to out of competition testing. These measures are in step with its policy to expand and improve information and education, targeting both gymnasts and their support personnel.

Ambitious project

The Medical Commission maintains its two traditional research streams: accident statistics and analysis and growth physiology and biology. A third and new stream is now in play to demonstrate in a clear, simple and scientifically recognized structure the benefits of gymnastics for all on overall health; this project is both unique and innovative.

Through a programme entitled, “The benefits of gymnastics on health”, the Commission spearheads a research programme in collaboration with the World Health Organisation in Geneva (WHO). It will include short and simple questionnaires targeting participants in the next World Gymnaestrada in the summer of 2015 in Helsinki (FIN).

The project targets some 25,000 gymnasts of all ages and from all walks of life, and the high number of WG participants will lend exceptional statistic and scientific credibility to the study. The survey is anonymous and confidential, and will be strictly protected by reliable rapid appraisal guidelines and governed by a high ethical and deontological code. The immediacy of results is a benefit to the gymnasts.

The study concept will be submitted to various intra and extra-FIG bodies. In order to garner maximum participation, the Gymnastics For All Technical Committee, Finnish organizers and national and international sport medicine circles will be consulted in that order.

With regard to research, the Medical Commission confirms its intention to pursue studies in growth endocrinology, initiated in 1997, conjointly with the Patras laboratory and published primarily in the American Journal of Endocrinology. The project was met with success in 2012 in Rome (ITA) by the International Organisation of Sports Medicine (FIMS).

Five members make up the FIG Medical Commission under President Léglise: Dr Jay Binder A. (USA), Igor Olexenko (UKR), Leonid Zinchenko (RUS), Liu Shu (CHN) absent from the meeting, and Dr Mariela Sirakova (BUL). Dr Gérald Gremion (SUI), President of the European Gymnastics Union Medical Commission, participated as a guest.

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