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

Posted - News Posted for ISA News, World Surfing News.

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.

Dr. Lee Rice will bring his decades of experience with sports medicine as the Chair of the ISA Medical Commission. Photo: Life Wellness Institute

Dr. Lee Rice will bring his decades of experience with sports medicine as the Chair of the ISA Medical Commission. Photo: Life Wellness Institute

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.” 

About the International Surfing Association:

The International Surfing Association (ISA), founded in 1964, is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the World Governing Authority for Surfing. The ISA governs and defines Surfing as Shortboard, Longboard & Bodyboarding, StandUp Paddle (SUP) Racing and Surfing, Para Surfing, Bodysurfing, Wakesurfing, and all other wave riding activities on any type of waves, and on flat water using wave riding equipment. The ISA crowned its first Men’s and Women’s World Champions in 1964. It crowned the first Big Wave World Champion in 1965; World Junior Champion in 1980; World Kneeboard Champions in 1982; World Longboard Surfing and World Bodyboard Champions in 1988; World Tandem Surfing Champions in 2006; World Masters Champions in 2007; World StandUp Paddle (SUP, both surfing and racing) and Paddleboard Champions in 2012; and World Para Surfing Champions in 2015.

ISA membership includes the surfing National Federations of 108 countries on five continents. The ISA is presided over by Fernando Aguerre (ARG). The Executive Committee includes four Vice-Presidents Karín Sierralta (PER), Kirsty Coventry (ZIM), Casper Steinfath (DEN) and Barbara Kendall (NZL), Athletes’ Commission Chair Justine Dupont (FRA), Regular Members Atsushi Sakai (JPN) and Jean Luc Arassus (FRA) and ISA Executive Director Robert Fasulo as Ex-officio Member.

Its headquarters are located in La Jolla, California (USA).