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Clinical Sports Science

Athlete Health & Performance

RESEARCH AIM: To produce translatable research that assists in the protection of athlete health and wellbeing, whilst simultaneously helping to improve athletic performance.

Athlete Screening Research

Established in 2009, the Athlete Screening Department (ASCR) undertakes pre-competition medical assessments in athletes in the attempt to identify medical conditions that may be detrimental to an athlete’s general health and/or performance. To date, over 14,000 athletes have been examined. Core research strengths include Vitamin D, sports cardiology, respiratory and dental/oral health.

Thermoregulation Research

Since the inception of Aspetar in 2007 and its first publication in the field (Racinais et al 2008 J Physiol, Aspetar’s research has continuously and consistently improved our understanding of athlete’s responses to hot ambient conditions. Aspetar is using the results from both laboratory and field researches, to inform international federations, event organisers, national and professional team as well as recreational athletes on the appropriate preparation and counter-measure to safely and optimally train and compete in the heat.

Altitude Research

Aspetar contains state of the art, world class simulated altitude facilities. A remote controlled, 25 room dormitory can achieve simulated living altitudes up to 5500 m continuously. This facility has previously been used by a number of international teams to conduct “live high, train low” training camps. In addition, there is a hypoxic exercise room capable of achieving 6000m altitude, and up to 9000m for special applications. Aspetar’s altitude research programme attempts to understand the physiological mechanism(s) underpinning the altitude-related effects on physical performance, particularly within team sports.

Shoe-Surface Interaction and Injury Research

The mechanisms underlying lower limb injuries in sport are multifaceted. Among the modifiable risk factors, interaction between player’s footwear and the surface has been implicated as influencing non-contact lower extremity injury risk. Turning or cutting on a planted foot may be an important inciting event for lower limb injury, particularly when shoe-surface traction is high. We are currently investigating the magnitude of shoe-surface traction on professional football grounds in Qatar using the 5 most commonly used football shoes in Qatar Stars league to ascertain if there is an association between traction and non-contact lower extremity injury among elite male soccer players.