ISA Announces Creation of Medical Commission to Promote Athlete Health, Advise on Medical Services

January 15th, 2021

Commission to be chaired by Dr. Lee Rice

The International Surfing Association (ISA) is proud to announce the formation of a Medical Commission with the purpose of advising on athletes’ and personnel’s health, the promotion of health and physical activity, and the protection of clean athletes.

The Commission will be comprised of the following individuals:


  • Lee Rice (USA) – 30+ years of experience as a family and sports medicine physician, accomplished medical author, extensive experience with professional sports and Olympic athletes


  • Chuck Davey (USA) – Professional Lifeguard and Water Safety/PWC Operator
  • Dr Thierry Durantel (FRA) – Practicing Physician, French National Surf Team Doctor
  • Gonzalo Saldanha (POR) – Physiotherapist; Extensive event and surf team experience with the Portuguese National Surf Team
  • Linda Hart (AUS) – Nurse; Extensive experience in mass participation sport events, Member of Surfer’s Medical Association (SMA)

The Medical Commission has been formed to accomplish the following objectives:

  • Ensure excellent healthcare, medical services and doping control at ISA events to athletes and personnel.
  • Better inform and educate athletes and entourage leading to effective prevention of injury and illness, better healthcare and faster recovery.
  • Strengthen good medical practice to the highest ethical standards by individuals and organizations responsible for athletes’ health.
  • Effectively implement new technologies in healthcare and anti-doping.
  • Increase physical activity and improve health for the general population.

Expected to hold its first meeting in the upcoming weeks, the Commission will have as one of its first priorities the review of COVID countermeasures and protocols for the Surf City El Salvador ISA World Surfing Games to ensure the health and safety of all participants.

ISA President Fernando Aguerre said:

“We are committed to the health and safety of our athletes, staff, and stakeholders, especially given the current global health crisis.  This Medical Commission is an important step in advancing our strategy in this regard.

“The commission will be key in improving and fortifying our medical services, healthcare standards and doping controls at World Championships, as well as educating event organizers, athletes and personnel regarding best practices to stay safe and healthy.

“Mostly, we want to make the world a better place by promoting the health and physical activity of surfers, as well as the wider population. Surfing is proven to be an integral contributor to happiness and healing, so we want to make sure that its therapeutic qualities can be accessed in an increasingly safe manner.”

Dr. Lee Rice said:

“As a surfer and a physician, I understand the exceptional therapeutic benefits of surfing for a healthy lifestyle and for the well-being of my patients.

“At the same time, it is essential to ensure the optimal medical services and latest healthcare trends for those competing in the sport.

“I am thrilled and honored with this opportunity to serve the ISA and wider surfing community and to bring together this amazing group of professionals for this purpose.”

ISA Medical Commission and staff during the virtual meeting.

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