Clinical Sports Science

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15/05/2024 08:00 AM - 16/04/2025 04:00 PM Aspetar
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Clinical Sports Science

Athlete Health & Return to Performance

RESEARCH AIM: To produce translatable research that assists in the protection of athlete health and wellbeing as well assist athletes and practitioners in developing strategies to accelerate return to performance following injuries.

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 20,000 athletes have been examined. Research projects in this area have focused on Vitamin D status, sports cardiology, impact of COVID and 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 has been conducting research activities during sporting events in Qatar and internationally in both laboratory and field-based projects. The results of the studies have been used to inform international federations, event organisers, national and professional team as well as recreational athletes on the appropriate preparation and counter-measures to safely and optimally train and compete in the heat.

Current work also involves the development and validation of modern technology to measure athletes in real-time during competitions to provide the medical teams with relevant information to implement heat acclimation strategies and/or clinical interventions in case of heat stress

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 activities over the years have provided a lot of information on the physiological mechanism(s) underpinning the altitude-related effects on physical performance, particularly within team sports. Applications of these techniques to accelerate return from injury are also being studied. In 2013 Aspetar hosted the first Altitude Training and Team Sports conference in the World which was alto the topic of a themed issue of the British Journal of Sports Medicine (Available here

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 commercially available 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.

Current studies also involve understanding the best football shoe configuration for female players and young players. Our research in this field is also conducted in collaboration with major sporting manufacturers and translates in bespoke podiatry solutions for Football players in our podiatry clinics.

Aspetar Research Update