An educational seminar on the issues of medical and anti-doping services at the 2nd European Games is held today in Minsk with the participation of representatives of state bodies, relevant organisations and departments.
Dmitry Pinevich, first deputy health minister of Belarus, opened the seminar and noted that a lot of work has already been done to put together the medical and anti-doping services of the 2nd European Games.
“The alignment of means, involvement of specialists from sports medicine and, in general, the sports industry, has been worked out,” he said. “Complex teams will be on hand to provide medical assistance to athletes, as well as spectators at non-sports facilities, at their homes. We are expecting a significant influx of foreign sports fans, and plans for providing them with medical support are already being outlined. Now we are moving on to training our teams. ”
Dmitry Pinevich also spoke about plans to form 50 mixed medical teams, which will work at sports arenas (including with the spectators) and 50 ambulance teams. The representative of the Ministry of Health also stressed that while there are plans to increase the number of ambulance teams working in Minsk during the Games, using more of them for the sporting event will not affect the quality of medical care offered to the city’s residents. He added that the process of forming medical brigades is going along smoothly. Moreover, medical stations are being set up at sports venues, training facilities, at the international equipment and accreditation center, media workrooms and other locations.
The first deputy minister also reminded the seminar guests about the plans to start running a clinic in the athletes village in the first quarter of this year. The clinic will become a multidisciplinary medical center during the Games.
“It is set up in accordance with international requirements for providing medical assistance to athletes in the places of their residence. Equipment is now being purchased. Sports medicine specialists will play the main role in running this clinic. All of the infrastructure that is being established for the Games will be used in the future,” said Dmitry Pinevich.
Speaking about the anti-doping services at Minsk 2019, the first deputy minister noted that the majority of the doping officers will work directly in the Athletes' Village. At the same time, there are places at each sports facility for collecting doping samples. These collection points meet international requirements and have all the necessary equipment.
Georgy Katulin, head of the 2nd European Games Minsk 2019 Operations Committee, noted that medical and anti-doping services are among of the main focuses in the preparation for such a major event as the 2nd European Games.
“We will be under the intense scrutiny of a number of structures, including newly created ones, for the kind of medical and anti-doping services we provide. For example, in the anti-doping area, there will be an international independent testing organisation whose representatives will work at the Games. In addition, independent observers from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) will work with us. They have submitted a request to be placed in the Athletes’ Village in order to be in the thick of things and exercise control over the processes that interest them,” Katulin said.
More than 1,000 doping tests are expected to be carried out at the multisport event in Minsk. In some sports, athletes will undergo this procedure multiple times.
Georgy Katulin added that competitions will be held in 23 disciples, among which are several that have a high risk of injury, hence why the topic of medical assistance is so crucial.
“Work is underway to set up venue teams. That is, each sports facility will have its own medical service. Their tasks will include medical support for competitors and spectators, as well as the implementation of the anti-doping program,” he said.
A wide range of issues regarding medical support for the upcoming European Games are being discussed as part of the seminar held in Minsk. They include the key requirements for medical support of such an international sporting event, anti-doping program of the Games, training of health organisations, ambulance services, procurement of medical equipment, and the allocation of medical personnel. A number of foreign experts have been invited to participate in the discussion.