In 2017 the IAAF’s Medical & Anti-Doping Department was divided into two separate administrative entities and resulted in the creation of the Health & Science Department and the Athletics Integrity Unit.
The Health & Science Department’s goal is to be the guarantor of the good health and well-being of those who practice athletics.
The department has four main activities:
1) to provide a top-quality health service to athletes and their support personnel during competitions organised under the auspices of the IAAF. This includes, but is not limited to, site visits of competition venues and facilities, verification of the implementation of health procedures and sanitation in order to minimise participant’s health risks.
2) to implement and promote scientific research programmes in order to respond to the ever-changing needs in the practice of athletics including that of its regulations and recommendations. To achieve these missions, the department relies on its internal resources as well as an international network of experts in the different fields of sports medicine and science but specifically athletics-related.
3) to develop prevention and education programmes for different categories of athletes, coaches, team physicians and all the supporting personnel. These programmes use modern media to communicate and disseminate information (e-learning, social platforms...)
4) to raise awareness via innovative methods, among athletes and the general population, on the health enhancing effects of practicing regular physical activity, in particular athletics and running.
The Health and Science Department maintains a close relationship with the Athletics Integrity Unit, for which it administers Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) applications received from international-level athletes who are in the IAAF Registered Testing Pool, or athletes competing in an international competition under rule 35.9 (see panel, right).