Third International Meeting on the Just Sport Project in Umeå, Sweden
The third international meeting on the Just Sport project was held from 12 to 15 April 2018 in Umeå, Sweden, and gathered the project partners who, within two working days, discussed the activities, activities and initiatives to be undertaken and the preparation at the upcoming international conference which is going to be held in June in Rijeka, Croatia. Ivailo Zdravkov member of the Managing Board of the Bulgarian sports development association, which is a partner of the project from Bulgaria, took part in the meeting.

The JUST SPORT project aims to address the negative consequences that uncontrollable use of food supplements in the field of mass sports (mostly in fitness centers) may cause. After a round table on this topic, experts and participants said that the use of prohibited substances and stimulants in fitness centers is a topical challenge and immediate attention should be paid to measures to help overcome. Minister of Youth and Sports Krasen Kralev said The data about the younger age at which free-time sportsmen start to use doping is worrying. He added that The problem is valid for whole Europe and all experts recognize that we are not prepared to deal with it. While there are strict international rules on sport for excellence, and there is a built-in system to monitor, proof of doping and relevant punishments on the part of international sports organizations, then in sports all these punishments are inapplicable. Our only weapon is training.
At the end of the seminar, the participants generated some interesting ideas and carefully formulated proposals that were presented at the round table. Here are the most important of them:
  • Establishing mechanisms for a cross-sector approach in policies (control, awareness) of prohibited substances, including doping and nutritional supplements;
  • Establishing specific mechanisms for the implementation of information campaigns in the field of sport for all on the reception of schools which may have a negative impact on sportsmen, with a focus on young people up to 29 years;
  • Control mechanisms aimed at citizens' health (regulating food additives, prohibited substances, on-the-spot controls (fitness centers, sports organizations) and the internet market);
  • National register of practitioners of fitness professionals and its association with European databases for facilitated transfer of specialists;
  • Licensing regime of fitness centers with control and punishing procedures in case of established doping regulation and/or violation endangering the health of the sportsmen;
  • Required certification of all instructors;
  • Required inclusion of information and prevention topics for the use of banned substances and supplements as part of the training of fitness instructors;
  • Implementing successful models for informing citizens and fighting the use of prohibited substances (as an example Denmark, Sweden, Germany) - testing sportsmen, designating centers that apply the rules of "clean" sport;
  • Control regime for the import and sale of food supplements (as it is currently registered);
  • Certification of food supplements through a procedure in Bulgarian laboratories before their permission for sale and distribution in Bulgaria;
  • Legislation and criminalization of the sale of anabolic drugs or banned substances;
  • Undertaking concrete actions to accredit the Bulgarian Laboratory to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA);
  • Specific sanctions in detecting sales and distribution of anabolic or banned substances in fitness centers;
  • Regulating responsibilities and responsible for promoting "clean sport", including setting up a "clean sport ambassadors" program;
  • Minimizing the opportunities for institutional or political pressure on the National Anti-Doping Center and ensuring maximum independence of the Center;
  • Increased commitment of the institutions responsible for fighting the use of prohibited substances in the field of mass sports and implementation of mechanisms for adequate control;
  • Discussing the opportunities for a healthy lifestyle course in the high school stage of education, including the topic of nutritional supplements and banned substances;
  • Update of Regulation 47 of the Ministry of Health on nutritional supplements and inclusion of clear information on the full contents of the ingredients of the additives, age of use, possible side effects, requirements for the purity of the ingredients;
  • Involvement of sports organizations (sports clubs and sports federations) in the information processes for the use of nutritional supplements and prohibited substances in the sphere of sport for all;
The main subject of this project is to introduce young people who are using sports and fitness centers and beginners athletes and to provide them with the necessary data to make an informed choice and possible negative effects on their physics. The use of some muscle mass builders could lead to severe heart problems, liver disease, and more in the future. Various activities were performed during the project to provoke and stimulate young people to plan a healthy lifestyle, supported by the guidance of trained fitness and sports professionals. Several training modules were realized for the youngsters themselves, who were covered in the project, but also for specialists and coaches involved in fitness and conditioning. The project is about to create a mobile app that will include healthy fitness centers and experts dedicated to the idea of "pure" sport.
Partners in the JUST SPORT project are organizations linked to an innovative consortium from Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, Bulgaria, Portugal and Sweden. This project is co-funded under the Erasmus + program of the European Commission and will be implemented in the period 01.01.2017 - 30.06.2018.