The Outbreak Prevention Taskforce formed with the International Institute for Race Medicine (IIRM) has launched an online risk assessment and mitigation tool for endurance event organisers.

Medical chairs from six global sports federations, from World Rowing (FISA), World Athletics, the International Cycling Union (UCI), World Triathlon, International Ski Federation (FIS), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) expert group on mass gatherings, joined the taskforce.

The WHO and the International Olympic Committee attended as observers, while an advisory group including event organisers and stakeholders from a range of other endurance sports was also consulted.

The tool is intended to help organisers assess the risk of staging an event, establish the preparedness of the community and the event organisation for the risks of Covid-19, and clarify any necessary steps to further mitigate and reduce the risk.

Once details have been entered into the tool, it generates a document that event organisers can use in making the right decisions to protect the local community, the participants, the volunteers, workforce, and staff involved. It does not advise on spectator management.

The tool, complementary to FISA Sports Medicine Commission’s guidance on return to training and organising events, is applicable to all mass participation endurance events regardless of the sport, competition level and size. It outlines mandatory mitigation measures to be undertaken by the event organisers, based on their particular circumstances, as well as recommended and desired measures, and emphasises that all of the mandatory measures and most of the recommended measures should be adopted if the event is to take place.

There is no guarantee that the suggested actions will sufficiently reduce the risk to allow the safe staging of an event, but they will guide event organisers through a process that the taskforce hopes will become a standard part of the preparation for staging mass events.

“We are very happy to support this initiative. In these difficult times with COVID-19, detailed information on risk assessment and mitigation of risk are important to inform public, authorities, organisers, rowing teams and the audience about the real risk of an event and the procedures which have been taken to mitigate this risk for rowers, officials and spectators. This tool gives information about the current status of preparations and helps for further improvement,” says Juergen Steinacker, Chair of FISA Sport Medicine Commission.

The tool is available at: idom.worldathletics.org