A sports medical examination is required for all athletes who wish to obtain or renew a competition licence issued by a sporting federation, except for those sporting disciplines exempt from this requirement.
The purpose of this examination is to allow athletes to take part in sporting events without putting their health at risk and thus to guide those interested toward suitable sporting activities.
Sporting activities are grouped into 3 categories depending on the extent of required medical supervision:
- periodical check-ups (category A);
- single medical examination (category B);
- no medical examination required (category C).
Who is concerned
All individuals, from the age of 7 (or turning 7 in the current year) and to the age of 50, must undergo a sports medical examination in order to obtain a competition licence authorising the practice of any sporting activity in category A or B.
Holders of competition licences who practice any category A sport must also undergo regular check-ups in the years in which they turn 12, 15, 20, 30, 40, 45 and 50.
The requirements for category A sports also apply to basketball, football, handball, ice hockey and rugby referees and linesmen.
Licensed athletes who continue to practice a competitive sport beyond the age of 50 are expected to undergo medical evaluations either by their GP or by another physician with certification in sports medicine.
These preventive medical examinations are financed by the government and are therefore free of charge for the athlete.
How to proceed
Setting up an appointment
Appointments may be set up by the athlete or by their club manager at one of the 14 sports medicine centres across the country. As the wait time for appointments may sometimes be very long, the best approach is to take advantage of the less busy periods of the year (May, June and July).
If an appointment needs to be cancelled, the centre must be notified at least 48 hours in advance.
Required supporting documents
The athlete must bring the following items to the sports medical examination appointment:
- vaccination record card;
- social security card, provided by the National Health Fund (Caisse nationale de santé – CNS);
- prescription eyeglasses (do not wear contact lenses, if possible);
- list of medications taken on a regular basis;
- all previous medical reports;
- appropriate clothing: shorts, T-shirt, underwear.
In order to avoid overcrowding in waiting rooms, only one accompanying visitor is allowed per athlete.
The examinations are performed by physicians who hold a specialist certificate in sports medicine recognised by the Ministry of Health.
The standard medical examination carried out in the regional sports medicine centres includes:
- a medical questionnaire (past medical history, risk factors);
- a clinical examination;
- a morphological analysis (height, weight, etc.);
- a urine test;
- a resting electrocardiogram (ECG) for athletes having reached the ages of 15, 20 and 30, and when the first licence is issued (if this occurs after the age of 15).
Additional examinations may be requested by the examining physician, the chief physican of the Sports Medicine Service and the cardiologist (responsible for interpreting the ECGs). The government does not cover the cost of these additional examinations.
After the examination
A certificate containing the findings of the medical examination is drawn up and sent to the relevant sporting organisation, which decides whether or not to approve the applicant’s request for a licence.
In this certificate, the individual may be declared:
- temporarily fit;
- temporarily unfit;
Any person declared unfit to practise a given sport is entitled to appeal this decision within 40 days in a hearing before a commission that will reach the final decision after having examined the party in question a second time or, if applicable, on the basis of the individual’s medical records.
Consulting your data via MyGuichet
Sportspersons can view their sporting abilities for the federations they have undergone a medical examination in their private eSpace on MyGuichet.
Federations can only see their athletes' sporting aptitudes in their business eSpaces. Federations must first certify this eSpace with the Sports Medicine Service and will then be able to find data by searching by the name and the birth date or national identification number (matricule) of the sportsperson.
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