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Challenges in Athletics injury and illness prevention: implementing prospective studies by standardised surveillance
  1. Pascal Edouard1,2,3,
  2. Pedro Branco4,5,
  3. Juan-Manuel Alonso5,6
  1. 1Department of Clinical and Exercise Physiology, Sports Medicine Unity, Faculty of Medicine, University Hospital of Saint-Etienne, Saint-Etienne, France
  2. 2Laboratory of Exercise Physiology (LPE EA 4338), University of Lyon, Saint Etienne, France
  3. 3Medical Commission, French Athletics Federation (FFA), Paris, France
  4. 4European Athletics Medical & Anti Doping Commission, European Athletics Association (EAA), Lausanne, Switzerland
  5. 5International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), Monaco
  6. 6Aspetar, Qatar Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Hospital, Doha, Qatar
  1. Correspondence to Dr Pascal Edouard, Department of Clinical and Exercise Physiology, Sports Medicine Unity, Bellevue Hospital, University Hospital of Saint-Etienne, Saint-Etienne 42 055, Cedex 2, France; Pascal.Edouard42{at}gmail.com.

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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 …

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