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An ounce of prevention?
  1. Jacques Rogge
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jacques Rogge, International Olympic Committee, Château de Vidy, Lausanne 1007, Switzerland; yasmine.braeckevelt{at}olympic.org

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At a time when there is an abundance of medical meetings, journals and papers, some might argue that the last thing we need is even more material. What would justify an emphasis on a new and developing research field in medicine such as the prevention of injuries and diseases in high level athletes?1 First, it must ask important questions not answered by others. Second, the new research field should have the potential to create truly new knowledge; lead to new ways of thinking; and lay the foundation for improved health for our patients. And finally, research results from the new field should be publishable in respected journals, recognised and cited by peers, presentable at high-quality meetings and fundable on competitive grant review.

First, is injury prevention important? Epidemiological studies show that of injuries seen by a physician in Scandinavia, every sixth is sustained during sporting activity.2 Among children, every third hospital-treated injury is the result of sports participation. A research group …

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