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Protection of the elite athlete is the responsibility of all of us in sports medicine
  1. Lars Engebretsen 1 , 2,
  2. Kathrin Steffen 1 , 2
  1. 1 Medical & Scientific Department, International Olympic Committee, Lausanne, Switzerland
  2. 2 Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Oslo, Norway
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kathrin Steffen, Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Oslo 806, Norway; kathrin.steffen{at}nih.no

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In your hand, you hold the present themed issue of the British Journal of Sports Medicine Injury Prevention and Health Protection (BJSM IPHP), presenting work initiated and executed by the International Federations (IF) and the National Olympic Committees (NOC), on protecting the elite athletes health. For those of you who have not heard about these special issues of BJSM, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is supporting four issues annually, as part of its commitment to supporting the health and performance of athletes.

Since the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, the IOC Medical Commission has carried out continuous surveillance of injuries and illnesses of the participating athletes during Olympic and Youth Olympic Games.1–5 At the same time, it is also evident that increasingly more IFs and National Olympic Committees (NOCs) have put health protection high on their agendas.

Led by FIFA (International Football Federation), with more than 25 years of experience in developing sports medicine and contributing to the health of footballers, other influential international sport organisations such as FIS (International Skiing Federation), FINA (International Swimming Federation), IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) and FIVB (International Volleyball Federation), have put …

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