dThe IFSC World Sport Climbing Association wants to tackle the problem of eating disorders and anorexia with new rules. In the future, athletes and associations will have to submit more detailed health data to be able to participate in competitions such as the World Cups, Olympic preparation tournaments and the Paris Summer Games.
As announced on Wednesday by the IFSC, these are measures against relative energy deficit syndrome in sport (RED-S). This is due to a lack of calories and can have serious consequences such as anorexia, osteoporosis, lack of menstruation or mental problems.
Last year there was an uproar in the climbing world because athletes and doctors, especially German team doctor Volker Schöffl, raised the alarm about malnutrition and malnourished athletes. The tendency to be thinner and therefore have to carry less weight to the climbing gym has increased.
At the top of the world there are athletes with eating disorders who are not actually allowed to compete, Schöffl stated in the summer of 2023. Since, in his opinion, the IFSC did not take sufficiently consistent measures against them, the German doctor left the medical commission. in protest.
Spokesman for the athlete: “The beginning of a journey”
Now the world association wants to better control 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 national associations to participate in competitions. The IFSC wants to carry out random checks during the season and refer suspected cases to an external commission for evaluation.
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 by addressing a complex and sensitive issue.”