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Salzburg, Austria

Carrabre J.,International Biathlon Union | Manfredini F.,International Biathlon Union | Manfredini F.,University of Ferrara
Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine | Year: 2010

Objective: To establish the incidence and severity of musculoskeletal injuries among elite biathletes. Design: One-year retrospective cross-sectional study. Setting: The survey was conducted during the first Biathlon World Cup event 2008/2009. Participants: A total of 116 athletes filled out an anonymous online survey. Main outcome measures: The questionnaire gathered data about location, type, onset, severity, and cause of injury. Results: Among the study population, 47 athletes (40.5%) reported a total of 68 injuries (incidence of 58.6 injuries/100 athletes/year). Female athletes (54.4%) suffered more injuries than male athletes (39.7%). A total of 54.4% of injuries came on gradually, 54.4% occurred during the training season, and 39.7% required removal from competition or training sessions. The most commonly injured body parts were the lower back (38.9%), knee (35.7%), and shoulder (25%). Running was the primary cause of injury (27.9%). The independent variable "years of participation in biathlon" (7 years or more) correlated with an increased risk for injury (P = 0.036). Conclusions: Biathlon is associated with a relatively high incidence of injuries, mostly of slight severity. Female athletes experience more injuries than male athletes. Lower back injuries are the most common injury site. The majority of injuries are caused from training activities such as running. Copyright © 2010 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Source

Malagoni A.M.,International Biathlon Union | Lamberti N.,University of Ferrara | Carrabre J.E.,International Biathlon Union | Litmanen H.,International Biathlon Union | And 7 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Background: The increased number of trips and competitions scheduled in the international agonistic calendars meets commercial demands while acting as a source of stress for the athletes. A model, developed in biathlons to monitor the so-called competition load, revealed an upward trend over time. The aim of this study was to evaluate, in a 21-year period, the effects of the International Biathlon Union's rescheduling of the competitive calendars to control the competition load, as well as its stability over time and the economic impact of this intervention. Methods: For each season competition, the load factors from the international agonistic calendar (number of venues/events, competition days/distance) were considered, and the athletes' daily and maximal stress scores were calculated. The calendar rescheduling, which started in 2001, involved the length of competitions, number of resting days and frequency of travels. Data from the period pre (1994-2000) and post (2001-2007) the intervention, as well as follow-up (2008-2015), were compared and analyzed in relation to the federation's budget. Results: The competition load and athletes' daily stress score progressively increased pre, plateaued post and remained stable in follow-up. Their annual variations within the final two periods were significantly lower than in the pre period, in spite of the higher average values. The maximal stress score decreased over time. The direct correlation between most of the competition load factors with the economic budget present in pre was lost in post and follow-up. Similarly, the athletes' daily stress score had a stable trend in post and follow-up, while budget continued to increase. Conclusions: The management of an athlete's potential source of stress by an international federation stabilized the competition load over time, but it did not affect the budget. Furthermore, it uncoupled the relationship between the athlete's effort and federation income. © 2015 Malagoni et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Source

Manfredini A.F.,International Biathlon Union | Manfredini A.F.,University of Ferrara | Malagoni A.M.,University of Ferrara | Litmanen H.,International Biathlon Union | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness | Year: 2011

Aim. Substances and methods used to increase oxygen blood transport and physical performance can be detected in the blood, but the screening of the athletes to be tested remains a critical issue for the International Federations. This project, AR.I.E.T.T.A., aimed to develop a software capable of analysing athletes' hematological and performance profiles to detect abnormal patterns. Methods. One-hundred eighty athletes belonging to the International Biathlon Union gave written informed consent to have their hematological data, previously collected according to anti-doping rules, used to develop the AR.I.E.T.T.A. software. Results. Software was developed with the included sections: 1) log-in; 2) data-entry: where data are loaded, stored and grouped; 3) analysis: where data are analysed, validated scores are calculated, and parameters are simultaneously displayed as statistics, tables and graphs, and individual or subpopulation profiles; 4) screening: where an immediate evaluation of the risk score of the present sample and/or the athlete under study is obtained. The sample risk score or AR.I.E.T.T.A. score is calculated by a simple computational system combining different parameters (absolute values and intra-individual variations) considered concurrently. The AR.I.E.T.T.A. score is obtained by the sum of the deviation units derived from each parameter, considering the shift of the present value from the reference values, based on the number of standard deviations. Conclusion. AR.I.E.T.T.A. enables a quick evaluation of blood results assisting surveillance programs and perform timely target testing controls on athletes by the International Federations. Future studies aiming to validate the AR.I.E.T.T.A. score and improve the diagnostic accuracy will improve the system. Source

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