General Areas of Responsibility

    1. To oversee and advise on all medical aspects related to rowing
    2. To monitor medical services at regattas
    3. To investigate and promote the prevention of sports injuries
    4. To study, monitor and publicise biological aspects of training
    5. To assist in the basic medical education of coaches
    6. To regulate and undertake doping control

General Areas of Responsibility

    1. To provide advice and recommendations on request to the Council, Coaches
        Conferences and National Federations
    2. To formulate and publish guidelines for medical services
    3. To document literature related to exercise physiology, sports medicine and
    4. To formulate and publish anti-doping rules and to assist in putting them in to effect
        To participate in the FISA Coaches Conference



The Olympic Movement Medical Code has been adopted by FISA.


(Updated May 2017 - please refer to the FISA Rule Book for any clarification)

Rule 20 – Men’s and Women’s Events

Subject to Rule 27, only men may compete in men’s events and only women may compete in women’s events. In mixed events men and women may compete in a crew in such proportion as shall be stipulated in these Rules and Regulations or otherwise by the organising committee.

Bye-Law to Rule 20 – Determination of Eligibility

In cases requiring determination of eligibility in respect of this Rule, including sex reassignment and hyperandrogenism, the FISA Executive Committee will refer to IOC guidelines.

IOC position statement on Hyperandorgenism

IOC Regulations on Female Hyperandrogenism (ENG)

IOC Regulations on Female Hyperandrogenism (FR)


Rule 21 – Health

Each member federation shall ensure that their rowers have a state of health and fitness which allows them to compete at a level commensurate with the competition level of the particular event. Member federations are responsible for ensuring that all rowers comply with Rule 99 and its Bye-Laws.


Rule 22 – Insurance

Each member federation is responsible to ensure that each rower and team official has adequate medical and accident insurance as well as insurance covering liability, property and equipment.


Rule 99 – Health of Rowers

The health and safety of the participants in the sport of rowing is of utmost concern. FISA has adopted the Olympic Movement Medical Code and its principles and follows all general principles recognised in international codes of medical ethics.


Bye-Laws to Rule 99 – Health of Rowers

1. Pre-competition Health Screening


  • 1.1 All rowers competing in the World Rowing Junior, Under 23 and Senior Championship regattas must have completed a precompetition health screening which includes a questionnaire, a physical examination and an ECG following the IOC’s recommended procedure. It is the responsibility of the member federation to ensure and certify that these Pre-competition Health Screening procedures have been performed and be able to provide evidence thereof if requested by FISA.

  • 1.2 All rowers competing in the World Rowing Junior, Under 23 and Senior World Championship regattas must complete the medical questionnaire and undergo a medical examination each year, and, in addition, must undergo a resting ECG every three years up to the age of 23, and every five years after the age of 23.

  • 1.3 For all other events, including the World Rowing Coastal Championships and World Rowing Masters Regattas, it is strongly recommended that rowers competing in these events undergo this Pre-competition Health Screening.

2. Member Federation Medical Officer

Each member federation competing at World Rowing Championship, Olympic, Paralympic, Youth Olympic and relevant qualification regattas and World Rowing Cup regattas must provide the name and contact details of a Medical Officer with whom FISA may communicate on medical issues.


3. Intravenous re-hydration

Any lightweight rower who has been re-hydrated intravenously after the weigh-in and before the start of the respective race shall not be allowed to start.


4. Injections (No-Needle Policy)

During International Regattas (from 24 hours before the start of the first race of the Regatta through to 24 hours after the end of the last race at such Regatta), any injection to any site of a rower’s body of any substance:

    • 4.1 Must be medically justified; 
      Justification includes physical examination by a certified medical doctor (M.D.), diagnosis, prescription of medication, route of administration and appropriate documentation;

    4.2 Must respect the approved indication of the medication;

  • 4.3 Must be administered by a certified medical professional unless authorised by the FISA Doctor or the Regatta Doctor; and

  • 4.4 Must be reported immediately and in writing not later than 24 hours afterwards to the FISA Doctor or the Regatta Doctor (except rowers with a valid TUE for this competition). The report must include the diagnosis, medication and route of administration.

5. The disposal of used needles, syringes and other biomedical material which may affect the security and safety of others, including blood sampling (e.g. lactates) and other diagnostic equipment shall conform to recognised safety standards.

Any violation of one of these principles may constitute a violation of the FISA Rules and may lead to penalties including exclusion of the crew concerned or, where appropriate, disqualification of the whole team from the regatta. The Executive Committee is the judicial body which shall determine the process to be followed. The costs of any investigations related to this rule may be charged to the member federation concerned.



No Needle Policy presentation

No Needle Policy FISA Form



Crew Change Form

Minimum Guidelines for Safe Rowing