FEI Legal Director Mikael Rentsch introduced the session on Athlete Welfare, talking about harassment and abuse and the recently released IOC toolkit. Guest speakers, Kirsty Burrows (GBR), Consultant on Athlete Safeguarding and Susan Greinig, IOC Medical Programmes Manager gave a clear definition of what harassment and abuse is, as well as explaining the toolkit which the IOC has put in place and how everyone in sport can adapt to safeguard and protect, not only our athletes, but all those involved in sport.
This step-by-step process for the development of policy and procedure guidelines, reports the mechanisms for all of us to use to understand the landscape and help prevent abuse before it happens, The IOC toolkit is available for everyone, not just International Federations and National Olympic Committees, but also all National Federations.
See below for more on this session.
|Session 3 - Athlete Welfare|
26 March 2018, 16:30 - 17:15 CEST
Part 1: Harassment and Abuse
|Go to Session 4|
Susan Greinig, IOC Medical Programmes Manager
“Athlete safeguarding should include everyone in sport. You need to have a rule before you can break a rule. We encourage you to build and put your own case studies in place.”
“All sports all over the world are affected by this problem.”
“Harassment and abuse has no place in sport. We must always remember that.”
“The most important thing is communication. If you have a framework in place, you need to educate everyone how to use this. Although we promote the information of safeguarding, we needed to show how to implement this and give young athletes a way of avoiding a situation”
Kirsty Burrows (GBR), Consultant: Athlete Safeguarding
“Athlete safeguarding is a collective responsibility. We have made sure the initiatives we develop are aligned with what the experts say.
“We are not only protecting the athlete, we are protecting people in sport”
“If there are no policies in place at national level, it makes it very difficult to handle a case. The athlete place their trust in the organisation and national federations are key to athlete safeguarding because you are at the apex of sporting organisations,”
“Preparation, positioning, components, implementation, preventative measures. All of this information outlined in this toolkit applies to all organisations. It tries to understand the positioning of sporting organisations. The toolkit outlines step by step of how to develop a policy and procedure.”
As part of the Athlete Welfare programme, the session on Concussion & Return to Play policy reviewed the latest findings on sport-related concussion and looked at new return-to-play policies put in place by some National Federations. Concussion is a complex condition and often goes unrecognised by athletes, their entourages and even medical experts. Recognition of concussion and its correct management were looked at in detail, and the dangers of return to sport before full recovery were highlighted, including increased risk of another fall and second impact syndrome, which shows that the concussed brain is more susceptible to injury in the event of another fall.
Laurent Mekies, Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) Safety Director, presented the latest safety protocols put in place by the FIA.
The athlete welfare session also included the use of Medication & Recreational Drugs in equestrian sport, focusing on both safety and anti-doping perspectives. The panellists stressed the need for athlete education and a thorough understanding of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) rules and regulations.
See below for more on this session
|Part 2: Concussion & Return to Play Policy &|
Part 3: Medication & Recreational drugs
09:00 - 10:30 CEST
Concussion & Return to Play
“Ignorance about concussion is very common, even in the medical profession”, Dr Peter Whitehead
Catherine Bollon, FEI Athletes Services & Human Anti-Doping Advisor: “The first step is to be able to recognise concussion. There are several people coming into contact with horses at events, not just athletes, but also grooms and veterinarians.” The FEI has a useful online concussion checklist and flow chart to follow in the case of suspected concussion on its Athlete Health & Safety hub (click Concussion button):http://inside.fei.org/fei/your-role/medical-safety. “The FEI is aware that its community is not fully educated on concussion and we are here to help our National Federations by providing latest research and best practice in identifying and dealing with concussion.”
Laurent Mekies, Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile Safety Director, demonstrated the detailed work being done by the FIA into the effects of crashes to further improve protection of drivers: “All of our drivers go through very detailed return to play testing after incidents.” A highlight of Mekies’ presentation was the data from Fernando Alonso’s crash at the Australian Grand Prix last year, where he was travelling at over 300kph at the point of final impact. Alonso experienced a total of three high-G decelerations: two peak lateral decelerations at 45g and 46g, and when the car landed on the ground after being airborne for 0.9 seconds, a peak longitudinal acceleration of 20G. The FIA will be sharing the development of its technology being used in motor racing with the FEI, including the data captured from in-ear accelerometers, the “black box” and camera fitted to the vehicles, and the future development of biometric data which is next on the agenda.
In order to supplement the National Federation medical suspension and return to play policies, and to assist NFs that do not have such protocols in place, the FEI will be introducing an automatic alert system on 1 June 2018. This electronic system will send an automatic notification to NFs when one of their athletes sustains a serious injury and needs to be monitored before returning to play. Eventing already has its own system in place, but the new system will be implemented across all other disciplines.
Mikael Rentsch, FEI Legal Director
Medication & Recreational Drugs
Dr Peter Whitehead (GBR), Chair of the FEI Medical Committee: “The first case I was involved in was with an athlete who had unwittingly taken diet-related hunger suppression medication, but this contained an anabolic steroid. Recreational use of substances outside of the sport will also have an effect on athletes competing, and we therefore follow the World Anti-Doping Agency guidelines on medication and recreational drugs.”
Catherine Bollon, FEI Athletes Services & Human Anti-Doping Advisor, sent a simple and direct message to athletes: “Check it before you take it. If you need a TUE, take something else in the meantime, while you apply for the TUE.” For guidelines on Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) applications: https://inside.fei.org/fei/cleansport/humans/tues. “An educated athlete is an empowered athlete. It is vital that our National Federations work with athletes to make sure they are fully informed. Recreational drugs have no place in sport.”
National Federations are urged to use and make athletes aware of the FEI’s human anti-doping toolkits: https://inside.fei.org/fei/cleansport/humans and the WADA toolkits, including: www.wada-ama.org/en/resources/education-and-prevention/dangers-of-doping-get-the-facts.
Mikael Rentsch, FEI Legal Director