Gesellschaft für Orthopädisch-Traumatologische Sportmedizin

Studie zur Prävention von Missbrauch im Sport

Dear sports medicine physician,

In recent years, harassment and abuse in sports have become more widely recognized. Various organizations in sports, such as the International Olympic Committee (IOC), are introducing strategies to safeguard athletes from harassment and abuse. Sports medicine physicians are uniquely situated to prevent harassment and abuse due to their close relationship with athletes. However, no published studies examine their knowledge, training or competence. The #WhatWouldYouDo? research study targets this knowledge gap to better understand the role of the sports and exercise medicine physician in preventing harassment and abuse in sports and ultimately to equip clinicians with the necessary knowledge and skills to enhance athlete health, well-being and safety.

How can you help?

Sports and exercise physicians (e.g., orthopaedic surgeon, internal medicine, family physician, pediatrician, emergency medicine, sports medicine physician who works with individuals who identify as athletes) looking after one or more athletes at the National, elite/ International and/or World Class levels are asked to answer a short, online, anonymized survey about their knowledge and experience in identifying and managing harassment and abuse in sport.

Study Objectives and Outcomes 

This research study aims to gain insight into the knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, level of training and clinical competence of sports medicine physicians in managing athletes who have experienced harassment and abuse in sports. This data will be used to create strategies to prevent harassment and abuse in sports, such as identifying gaps in knowledge among the sports medicine physician community and creating targeted education. Ultimately, improving the responses of sport medicine physicians to harassment and abuse has numerous benefits to athlete health by decreasing injury and illnesses and improving mental health during their sports career and following retirement. Beyond athlete health benefits, we believe there may also be improved performance, athlete satisfaction/pleasure, participation rates and lowered early retirement from the sport.


Please be assured that all the information provided in this anonymized survey will be kept confidential. Data collected in this study will be stored securely and will not be accessible to anyone outside the research team. Your responses will remain anonymous. You are free to withdraw from the study at any time during the survey without penalty, even after your consent has been given and the project has commenced.

Possible Risks 

There is no anticipated risk to you for completing this survey. Should you have concerns about the survey content or are triggered by the content, please find a local helpline in your country via

Ethical Approval 

This study has been reviewed by the Hamilton Integrated Research Ethics Board, Canada (HiREB#15894). The HIREB is responsible for ensuring that participants are informed of the risks associated with the research, and that participants are free to decide if participation is right for them. If you have any questions about your rights as a research participant, please call the Office of the Chair, Hamilton Integrated Research Ethics Board at 905.521.2100 x 42013.


Completion of the survey will imply informed consent.


Access the survey at the following link and tell us,  #WhatWouldYouDo:


Please reach out to me if you have any questions. Thanks for your willingness to participate in this important project.




Tine Vertommen, PhD
Thomas More  | University of Applied Sciences
Prevention and Empowerment Research Unit
Campus Sanderus  | Molenstraat 8  | 2018 Antwerp  | Belgium
+ 32 494 12 95 45