The Medical and Anti-Doping Commission is established in the IFSC Statutes, Article 35.
The commission protects and maintains the standards of athletes’ health and of Sport Climbing as a safe sport. It addresses issues impacting the health of athletes and defines the medical regulations for the safe running of IFSC competitions. The Medical and Anti-Doping Commission ensures that the IFSC complies with the WADA Anti-Doping Code, and implements programmes for the promotion of clean sport. Medical and Anti-Doping Commission Rules and composition are defined in the relevant document approved by the IFSC Executive Board.
The current composition of the IFSC Medical & Anti-Doping Commission (2021-2025) is as follows:
DANIEL VON ESSEN
Injury Trends in Rock Climbers: Evaluation of a Case Series of 911 Injuries Between 2009 and 2012 (2015) - Schöffl et al.
- High incidence of epiphyseal fractures in the age group 13 to 15.
- Examined are growth factors, growth spurts and onset of epiphyseal fractures.
- Precautions need to be instigated, prophylaxis increased. While campus board exercises are known to be one risk factor for epiphyseal fractures in young climbers, others still need to be detected.
Of the 22 injured fingers, 95% concerned the middle finger; in 64.3% the crimp grip led to the injury and was the preferred handhold (71.4%). Half of the injuries occurred during bouldering competitions. They were in average 14.1 years of age and all within the year of their peak velocity growth.
The climbing community started reporting epiphyseal stress fractures in the fingers in 1997. As a consequence of repetitive loading of the fingers the fractures observed were always in the proximal interphalangeal joint. Most often they were fractures of the Salter Harris III type with a fracture through the epiphysis of the middle phalanx. Within the short period of time (24 years) a total of 65 epiphyseal fractures of the fingers have been reported in climbers representing the highest rate of this injury so far in any sport.
All subjects were within a year of the first signs of puberty and within their pubertal growth spurt, a time when the growth plate is especially vulnerable for injuries.
- Especially those aged 13-15 (around category Youth B), which is a vulnerable age for epiphyseal fractures.
- Finger pain during and particularly after climbing, almost always at the dorsal aspect of the finger middle joint
- Finger joint swellings
- Growth spurt
- Stop training and get a medical evaluation (8-12weeks); inform athlete (personal doctor, parents, National Federation)
- As appropriate, arrange MRT, X-ray
- If epiphyseal fracture: break in training and appropriate treatment, otherwise the fracture will not heal and a permanent disability of the finger will result
- No campus board exercise (especially no crimps)
- Change the training to technical skills
- Consider the overall time and number of competitions and exercises (consider regeneration time)
- Growth spurt exerts a high stress on the body with reduced ability of regeneration
- Without regeneration no trainings effect
During Bouldering competitions, especially in the finals of the youth events, you often find open skin injuries. Questions have therefore arisen as to whether there is a possible transfer risk of contagious diseases (e.g. HIV, Hep. B and C, etc.).
Risk of Transmission of Blood Borne Infections in Climbing (2011) - Schöffl; Morrison; Küpper. Conclusion: The risk of blood to blood transmission is rather low but existing. Athletes can NOT compete with bleeding wounds. Blood on the holds must be removed. A recommendation has been made for judges regarding blood on the filed of play.
The IOC consensus statement: beyond the Female Athlete Triad—Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S) (2014) - Margo Mountjoy; Jorunn Sundgot-Borgen; Louise Burke; Susan Carter; Naama Constantini; Constance Lebrun; Nanna Meyer; Roberta Sherman; Kathrin Steffen; Richard Budgett; Arne Ljungqvist.
Although competition climbing is barely recorded in weight-sensitive sports, body composition becomes important in high level Sport Climbing.
Concerning this subject, the goal of the IFSC Medical Commission is:
IOC consensus statement on relative energy deficiency in sport (RED-S): 2018 update (2018) - Margo Mountjoy; Jorunn Kaiander Sundgot-Borgen; Louise M Burke; Kathryn E Ackerman; Cheri Blauwet; Naama Constantini; Constance Lebrun; Bronwen Lundy; Anna Katarina Melin; Nanna L Meyer; Roberta T Sherman; Adam S Tenforde; Monica Klungland Torstveit; Richard Budgett.
The BMI is an easy manageable screening tool to detect a group of underweight athletes. It is calculated by dividing the body weight by the square of the height (BMI = m/h²)
The first international BMI screening in Sport Climbing was carried out during the IFSC Lead World Cup Kranj 2006 by Prof. Wolfram Müller, Institute of Biophysics, Medical University of Graz. He reffered to the percentile according to Kromeyer-Hausschildt from Germany. Figures below the 3 percentile for male (18,5) and female (17,5) are known as critical.
Regular BMI screening (in WC's or WCH's) have been implemented since 2012. The main goal is to prevent eating disorders with severe health consequences in connection with Sport Climbing at an elite level. A letter is sent to athletes and National Federations if the BMI is critical. The IFSC can show up, inform and educate, but National Federations have the responsibility to support the affected athletes with medical, psychological and nutritional help.
The MI considers the continental differences of the body composition.
The sitting height (as an indirect measure for leg length) can be used to extend of the BMI formula to consider the leg length.
In the general MI formula, the hs (sitting height), and m determine the value of this index for the relative body mass.
MI = 0,53 x (m/hs)
Current Status of Body Composition Assessment in Sport: Review and Position Statement on Behalf of the Ad Hoc Research Working Group on Body Composition Health and Performance, Under the Auspices of the IOC Medical Commission (2012) - Timothy R. Ackland; Timothy G. Lohman; Jorunn Sundgot-Borgen; Ronald J. Maughan; Nanna L. Meyer; Arthur D. Stewart and Wolfram Müller.
Critical margin - until 2019 (below the 3 percentile)
BMI'S 3 PERCENTILE FROM 2012-2018 (MONITORING SEMIFINALISTS)
As the BMI margins used between 2012-2019 did not reflect the whole critical group of athletes, a slight adjustment of the BMI for 2020 became necessary.
FROM 2021 SEASON
BMI screenings are arranged at every Boulder and Lead semi-finals by competition doctors or Medical Commission members.
Field of Play (FoP) Medical Team
Minimum facilities and services available
Equipment and typical situation for Sport Climbing
Chalk bags, clothes and other personal athlete belongings below the boulders, which may cause injuries by athletes falling onto them and twisting knees and ankles.
Reccommendation: At the technical meeting this should be brought to the attention of the coaches, who should then transmit the information to the athletes.
There are currently no existing studies on medical concerns regarding chalk. As magnesium carbonate is in general a nutrient the substance itself is harmless, though nevertheless theoretically a risk through fine dust exposition may be possible. Overall, good ventilation for gyms and airflow are recommended. Further studies are still necessary, but pending.
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