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Nouvelles sportives

Rules, a taboo in high-level sport

2022: the English go to the front

The players of the England football team, in Wolverhampton, June 16, 2022.

A stain of blood on immaculate white, such is the obsession of the players of the English football team. During Euro 2022, they asked their equipment supplier, Nike, to change the color of their shorts. A way to lift the veil on the taboo of rules among top athletes. The tricolor captain, Wendie Renard, welcomed the English position: “Unfortunately, we have this. It’s part of our life. » During the Wimbledon tennis tournament, the dress code white had already been pointed out when the Briton Alicia Barnett had confided the stress of having her period in this uniform of absolute whiteness.

Read also: Women’s Euro 2022 football: a first round at two speeds

2021: the effects of the cycle finally studied

French fencer Ysaora Thibus, July 29, 2021, during the Tokyo Olympics.

For the first time in France, the Empow’Her project of two researchers from the National Institute of Sport and Physical Education (Insep) is interested in the impact of the menstrual cycle on the physical condition of sportswomen. Until now, the majority of research being carried out on men by men, women had to comply with standards unsuited to their metabolism. Participating in the study, world foil champion Ysaora Thibus (just crowned on July 19 at the World Fencing Championships in Egypt) wishes “understand at what point in the cycle to optimize performance”. Ruptures of the cruciate ligament of the knee, for example, would be more common in the first half of the cycle.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers Sport, an analgesic during menstruation

2019: training adapted to the rules

The American football team, during its fourth coronation at the 2019 Women's World Cup, in France.

During the World Cup, American footballers praise the merits of Georgie Bruinvels. Holder of a doctorate on the impact of iron deficiency and menstrual cycles on sports performance, the researcher has developed FitrCoach, an application that allows you to adapt your training and diet to your cycle. Causal link or not, Megan Rapinoe’s teammates were once again crowned world champions. A victory that earned the American researcher the interest of the British Tennis Federation, which asked her to supervise players in the Fed Cup, the Women’s Davis Cup.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers « Sexism in sport », a long way to equality

2016: cramps at the edge of the basin

Chinese swimmer Fu Yuanhui at the Rio Olympics on August 8, 2016.

At the Rio Olympics, Chinese swimmer Fu Yuanhui winces in pain as she clutches her lower abdomen. The 20-year-old missed her race in the 4×100 meter medley relay, where she finished fourth. Still out of breath, she is questioned by Chinese television about her poor performance. “It’s because I have my period since yesterday. I feel particularly tired,” she answers. On social networks, his spontaneity and courage are praised. The one who is one of the first to speak publicly about the subject seems all the more audacious as the subject is still shameful in China.

Read also: Olympic Games 2016: « It’s because I had my period », the words of a swimmer at the foot of the podium

2013: hormones for a delayed effect

British athlete Jessica Judd at the 2013 World Athletics Championships in Moscow.

On August 15, 2013, at the Moscow Athletics World Championships, 18-year-old Briton Jessica Judd burst into tears in front of the cameras. She expresses her disappointment after her defeat in the 800 meter event. Two years later, she reveals that doctors had given her norethisterone, a synthetic progestogen derived from testosterone, to delay her period. The former marathon world record holder, Britain’s Paula Radcliffe, demands that these practices stop. If the medicine cannot be found in France, the National Medicines Safety Agency does not oppose its use for this reason.

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