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World association adopts new rules against anorexia

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World association adopts new rules against anorexia

The World Sport Climbing Association IFSC wants to tackle the problem of eating disorders and anorexia with new rules. Athletes and associations will in future have to list health data in more detail in order to be able to take part in competitions such as World Cups, the Olympic preparation tournaments and the Summer Games in Paris.

As the IFSC announced on Wednesday, it is about measures against relative energy deficit syndrome in sport (RED-S). This is caused by a lack of calories and can have serious consequences such as anorexia, osteoporosis, missed periods or mental problems.

Last year there was great excitement in the climbing scene because athletes and doctors – especially the German team doctor Volker Schöffl – raised the alarm about malnourished and malnourished athletes. The trend of being thinner and therefore having to pull less weight up the climbing wall has increased.

There are athletes at the top of the world with eating disorders who are actually not allowed to compete, said Schöffl in the summer of 2023. Because in his opinion the IFSC did not take consistent enough action against it, the German doctor left the medical commission in protest.

Athlete spokesperson: “Start of a journey”

Now the world association wants to better monitor athletes and their physical condition. Among other things, climbers have to fill out questionnaires with their health data such as height, weight or blood pressure. They need certificates from the national associations in order to be able to take part in competitions. The IFSC wants to carry out random checks during the season and refer suspected cases to an external commission for evaluation.

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Stefanie Sippel Published/Updated: , Recommendations: 6 Stefanie Sippel, Bern Published/Updated: , Recommendations: 21 A comment from Stefanie Sippel Published/Updated: , Recommendations: 7

British climber Shauna Coxsey, chair of the IFSC Athletes Commission, said: “The policy announced today is the start of a journey to make our sport safer as it addresses the complex and sensitive issue.”

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