Section 9: Illness, Injury or Pregnancy
This section describes AAP policy and procedures for dealing with athletes’ illness, injury or pregnancy.
There must be arrangements in place for handling illness, injury or pregnancy.
The AAP has been carefully designed to handle exceptions to “normal” training and competition. AAP policy covers the following special situations related to illness, injury or pregnancy:
- Short-term curtailment of training and competition for health-related reasons;
- Long-term curtailment of training and competition for health-related reasons;
- Failure to meet renewal criteria for health-related reasons; and
- Voluntary withdrawal from carded-athlete training and competition for health-related reasons.
Short-term Curtailment of Training and Competition for Health-related Reasons
Health-related circumstances that limit training and competition for relatively short periods (i.e., less than four months) are a matter strictly between the NSO and the athlete and do not fall under AAP policy.
Long-term Curtailment of Training and Competition for Health-related Reasons
Carded athletes who are unable to maintain full training and competition commitments for longer than four months because of injury, illness or pregnancy will continue to receive 100% of the AAP financial support to which they would otherwise be entitled, provided the following conditions are met:
- The athlete undertakes in writing to train or rehabilitate or both under the supervision of the NSO (or its designate) 1) for the period of time for which the athlete is unable to fulfil the training and competition commitments that are part of the normal Athlete/NSO Agreement and 2) at a level that minimizes risk to the athlete’s personal health and ensures optimal return to full training and competition at the earliest possible date.
- The athlete signifies in writing his or her intention to return to full high performance training and competition at the earliest date possible following the illness, injury or pregnancy.
- Injured or ill athletes provide a positive prognosis from an NSO team physician or equivalent for their return to training and competition at the carded-athlete level in their sport within 8 to 12 months.
Failure to Meet Renewal Criteria for Health-related Reasons
At the end of a carding cycle during which an athlete has, for strictly health-related reasons, not achieved the standards required for the renewal of carded status, he or she may be considered for renomination for the upcoming carding period under the following conditions, provided the NSO has a method to rank and card injured, ill or pregnant athletes:
- The athlete has fulfilled all reasonable training and rehabilitation requirements aimed at a speedy return to full high performance training and competition during the period of his or her injury, illness or pregnancy.
- In the view of the NSO, the athlete’s failure to attain the applicable carding standards is strictly related to the injury, illness or pregnancy.
- The NSO, based on its technical judgement and that of an NSO team physician or equivalent, indicates in writing the expectation that the athlete will achieve at least the minimum standards required for carding during the upcoming carding period.
- The athlete has demonstrated and continues to demonstrate his or her long-term commitment to high performance training and competition goals, as well as his or her intention to pursue full high performance training and competition throughout the carding period for which he or she wishes to be renewed despite not having met the carding criteria.
Voluntary Withdrawal from Carded-Athlete Training and Competition for Health-related Reasons
If an athlete wants, for reasons related to injury, illness or pregnancy, to voluntarily withdraw temporarily or permanently from normal carded-athlete training and competition requirements, the usual procedures for voluntary withdrawal from the AAP apply. The athlete will no longer be eligible for the monthly living and training allowance but will be eligible, if qualified, for deferred tuition support or special-needs assistance.