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New ITA Health & Clinical Expert Advisory Group: Focus on athlete wellbeing and health in the fight against doping

The purpose of the ITA Health & Clinical Expert Advisory Group is to advise the ITA specifically on issues relating to pharmaceuticals, pharmacology, clinical medicine, nutrition, health, safety and wellbeing in the context of the operational implementation of the global anti-doping programs that the ITA leads for its partners. The Group is comprised of a panel of experts from a variety of fields including sports medicine, clinical pharmacology, sports pharmacy, sports nutrition and sports science.

The group’s inaugural meeting covered a range of topics, including the development of a safety framework related to anti-doping programmes, educational messages for athletes related to the use of traditional Chinese medicine and sports drinks, and the challenges posed by the inadvertent ingestion of prohibited substances through food and other sources.

The group’s newly appointed Chair, Prof. Dr. Margo Mountjoy, said: “It is a pleasure to work with this distinguished and diverse group of global experts to promote athlete health and wellbeing in the anti-doping field in partnership with the ITA. The efforts of the ITA Health & Clinical Expert Advisory Group will ensure that health remains a central focus in all aspects of ITA activities.”

The Group will play an important, ongoing role in advising on clinical issues related to the ITA’s administration of therapeutic use exemptions, supporting the ITA’s educational initiatives to ensure athlete health through clean sport and to reduce and prevent harm to athletes from doping. In addition, it will advise on athlete protection and mental wellbeing initiatives related to sample collection and doping control, and provide insight into emerging health threats related to doping.

“This initiative underscores our strong commitment to protecting athlete health by ensuring the integrity of the sport is maintained. The guidance of the Expert Group will be critical to address the complex health issues that arise in the implementation of anti-doping programs at the forefront, including our efforts to educate and promote health through clean sport,” said Benjamin Cohen, ITA Director General. “We thank the members of the Group for their commitment to clean sport and their deep commitment to protecting athlete health by bringing their expertise to the ITA.”

The ITA Health & Clinical Expert Advisory Group will continue to meet regularly and provide ongoing support and advice to ensure that the ITA’s anti-doping efforts lead to positive health outcomes for athletes as they compete cleanly and remain doping-free.

COMPOSITION OF THE ITA HEALTH & CLINICAL EXPERT ADVISORY GROUP:

Prof. Dr. Margo Mountjoy – CHAIR (Canada)

Ms Ashley Anderson (USA)

Prof. Thierry Buclin (Switzerland)

Dr. Richard Budgett (Switzerland/Great Britain)

Dr. Kate Jordan (United Arab Emirates/United Kingdom)

Prof. Enette Larson-Meyer (USA)

Dr. Carole Okoth (Kenya)

Dr. Christian Schneider (Germany)

Dr Trudy Thomas (United Kingdom)

Xin Xu (China)

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