As part of the Great Britain Cycling Team’s proactive approach to the duty of care towards athletes, British Cycling has joined forces with Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) to provide Pre-Participation Cardiac Screening (PPCS) for every rider on the programme.
The PPCS commenced in May 2018 with every programme rider aged 14 and above encouraged to undergo the process every two years. The screenings are undertaken by a specialist team from LJMU’s School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, led by Professors John Somauroo and Keith George and Doctor David Oxborough. The aim of the collaboration is two-fold with the intention to provide cardiac screening whilst establishing a research programme aimed at further developing our understanding of the cyclists’ heart.
Doctor Nigel Jones, Head of Medical Services for British Cycling, explained: “Recent research reports that, although sudden cardiac death amongst the athletic population is rare, there is data to prove that cardiac screening can identify underlying cardiac disease and ultimately reduce the risk.
“The health and well-being of our riders is our primary concern and by introducing this new policy we are ensuring that the riders’ hearts are being checked and monitored and riders are informed of any risk they may be carrying.
“The riders are screened by LJMU using the ‘European Model’, which involves a physical examination, a screening questionnaire and a 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG). We have also included an echocardiogram in the process which forms part of the research.”