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Athletes’ health protection through prevention research is an important goal of the International Olympic Committee (IOC)1 and is a task taken seriously by several major international sports federations including the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF)2–5 and the European Athletics (EAA).6 ,7 To this end, surveillance studies have been conducted at 13 international Athletics championships in recent years,2–7 using standardised methods developed by the IOC1 and IAAF.2 ,3 Thus, important data on injury and illness incidences and characteristics in elite athletes during international Athletics competition have been reported and, as demonstrated in the paper by Feddermann et al,5 successfully monitored over time.
However, the nature of Athletics requires that a vast majority of athletes’ time is spent preparing to compete rather than actually competing. Consequently, injury and illness risk is expected to be higher during training periods than during competition periods only. Our knowledge on their risk of injury and illness during out-of-competition periods …