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IOC President Thomas Bach Visits Center for Sports Medicine in Tashkent

UT correspondents get familiarized with the Republican Scientific and Practical Center of Sports Medicine under the National Olympic Committee, which aims to promote athletes in achieving even higher results.

“The athletes and the doctors have been provided with the most modern equipment of which they could only dream of in the recent past,” said director of the new center Muazzam Melieva, who was also the head of the ‘Football-Med’ medical facility of Uzbekistan’s Football Federation. “The new center is equipped with over 535 units of various medical equipment, most of which are only found in this center across all of Central Asia. Our doctors have also completed trainings at foreign clinics.”

Muazzam Solievna, will we notice a great increase in the box of medals won by our athletes in Rio de Janeiro in 2016?

“Now our first goal is to conduct a complete medical scan of all our Olympic athletes. Based on the results of these check-ups and analyses we will provide guidance and recommendations to coaches and trainers of the national teams. The athletes will also receive state-of-the-art therapy and other medical supplies which ought to help them in their preparation for the Olympics in 2016. The doctors of our center will conduct injury recovery procedures and rehabilitation. We can ease the muscle pain of our athletes in just a few hours, and they will only miss one or two training sessions before being fully fit to continue.

But I think that our work will show even greater results in the following continental and Olympic tournaments as we will also take care of the young athletes. By constantly analyzing their development we can help coaches select the most promising and fit juniors to represent our country in the future. The physiology of a young athlete can serve as a great roadmap which shows his potential and we can analyze and grade their potential for coaches.”

You are saying that you will start examining and following young athletes as soon as they become a part of the national team roster, that is the most promising ones. But we have often seen that champions among youngsters and cadets fail to build on their results at a more senior age…

“We can actually help such athletes to understand their bodies and work towards constantly achieving higher results. It is crucial to identify the strong and weak points of the athlete and his/her body, so that timely recommendation can be provided for coaches and team doctors. Athletes who have a tendency towards reducing their results need to reduce a load during their awkward age and prescribe a certain set of medications, which will help support their body.”

The new center is now also in charge of anti-doping functions. How will you organize the work in this direction?

“During checkups we will test the athletes for doping and other banned additives. Most of the time such additives, which can artificially enhance the performance of the athletes, are part of a set of vitamins or have been ingested by the athlete unwittingly, thus it is now our duty to warn coaches and athletes of the consequences and help them rid their bodies of the banned substances.”

The Center has the status of a scientific and practical center. Tell us about the scientific component of its activities.

“Unfortunately sports is highly underdeveloped in Uzbekistan. We must research all of the factors which can affect the performance and health of an athlete. One of the main directions is the analysis of the decreasing age barrier, as more and more youngsters and even children are being engaged in sports professionally, and we must determine if this is a good or a bad thing for children and their health. Another big area of research is the overall health of our athletes. We are confident that our studies will show slightly different results compared to other countries due to different local factors. But we need this in order to protect the interests of our athletes as much as possible. Furthermore these findings should help coaches and trainers in preparing their athletes for different competitions, by using the data and analysis obtained through our scientific studies.” 

Who were the first customers of the new center?

“Our first customers were parents who brought in their kids, who do sports, for consulting. They went through different tests using our modern equipment and have been provided with recommendations and prescriptions based on the results. It is great to see that parents are also engaged in the sports life of their kids and pay great attention to their health and wellbeing.

Among professionals, the women’s national football team was the first to use our services.”

What are the development prospects for the center?

“Currently the center is designed for outpatient services. In the future we will open a hospital to treat athletes with complex diseases and injuries, provide surgery and rehabilitation therapy.”

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