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by Shane Stokes
April 10, 2018
Retired pro Meersman reflects on passing of Goolaerts plus his own heart issues; Colbrelli chasing second win in Brabantse Pijl; Israel Cycling Academy team names first three riders to Giro d’Italia lineup; Professor Xavier Bigard joins the UCI as Medical Director; In new C7 jacket, Gore Wear combines ShakeDry fabric with stretch technology; Video: Paris-Roubaix, peloton view; Video: First ride and review vlog: Campagnolo 12 Speed Groupset
He’s got a name like an X-Man, but his position is a very real one: the UCI announced on Monday that Professor Xavier Bigard will take up the role of medical director within the sport’s governing body. The Algeria-born Frenchman is described by the UCI as ‘an internationally renowned professor of sports medicine [who] has written several books and contributed to eminent scientific publications, and until 2017 was President of the French Society of Sports and Exercise Medicine (SFMES).’
Bigard’s new role will see him create a medical policy corresponding to athletes, to implement and coordinate medical supervision imposed on elite licence-holders and professionals, and to set up a medical service to operate during competitions. He will also lead medical research and studies into the harmful health effects of products, methods, and aids used, plus the conditions of exercise.
“Implementing independent medical supervision was a key component of the manifesto on which I was elected UCI President six months ago,” said UCI President David Lappartient. “Welcoming Professor Bigard to our Federation is a strong indication of our commitment to guaranteeing the health of our athletes, but also to assessing the consequences of taking certain substances, legal or otherwise.”
Bigard previously worked as a health researcher for the armed forces, looking into the physiology of exercise, muscular physiology and biology, the biological mechanisms of muscular degeneration and regeneration, tolerance to physical training, human nutrition, and the nutrition of an active athlete.
He is currently Scientific Consultant to the President of the French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD), specialist and consultant to the Ministries of Health and Sport for promoting healthy physical activity, associate researcher at the French National Institute of Sport, Expertise and Performance (INSEP), and lecturer at several French universities. He will take up his new role on June 1.