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Detecting over-age players using wrist MRI: science partnering with sport to ensure fair play
  1. Jiri Dvorak
  1. Correspondence to Professor Jiri Dvorak, Spine Unit, Schulthess Clinic, Lengghalde 2, Zurich CH-8008, Switzerland; jiri.dvorak{at}

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Detecting the presence of over-age players in age-related tournaments has been a difficult challenge for many sports organisations. “Age-doping” is a form of cheating that involves falsification of information about the age of a player to gain advantage in the sport. This clearly contradicts the ethics of sport and fair play.

Until now, the age of competitors has generally been proven by official documents such as birth certificates. In some regions of the world, however, births are registered at police stations or rural health clinics, or by village elders. Since births do not take place at established hospitals, their registration is often delayed because of cultural, religious and climatic reasons. At times, the large distance between a place of residence and a registration “office” can mean days of travel (and hence delay). Thus, the official “birth certificate” may not reflect the actual date of birth.

In addition …

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