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activities, Dr Mahmoud Shehabullah, (pictured) Senior Sports Medicine Physician at the Ministry of Sports Affairs, said.

“Start PPE (Pre-participation medical screening) beginning of the year or season whoever wants to participate in sports or physical activities. This is important to avoid injuries and ensure fitness while returning to sports action,” Shehabullah, who had attended eight Olympics with Oman contingent as medical officer, told Oman Observer.

Pre-participation medical screening is one of the mainstays of sports medicine.

“The medical screening will definitely reveal if the athlete is fit to join sports. It will also give insight into the treatment of his/her problem and the steps to be taken next.”

“PPE reveals many hidden medical issues and biomechanical deficits which can be treated or corrected to join sports.”

In Oman, football is the most popular sport but most of the players are ignorant about stretching or warming up.

“One cannot step suddenly onto playing field without a minimum warm-up. Such move will make the player prone to injury very fast,” the Bangladeshi physician said.

Dr Mahmoud says that consequences of wrong training with wrong equipment in a wrong surface with no warming up and stretching will be very costly for athletes.

“Most athletes, both professionals and amateurs had undergone a deep stress as they were unable to do outdoor sports activities during the lockdown period. So the key is to maintain a good balance mentally and physically when they return to sports activities.”

Shehabullah, who has monitored the Oman sports injuries closely for nearly four decades, feels there is an urgent need to educate even the professionals about the chances of injuries while playing.

In the step for the future, he proposes that all educational institutions should include basics of prevention of injuries and protection in the curriculum.

“The basics of warming up and stretching should be included in the education syllabus.”


There are lots of talents in the country but lacking proper training and temperament. One must blend the recipe of 3TTTs – talent, training and temperament – for grooming future stars, he opined.

Sports psychology is playing very important part in the performance of an athlete.

“Unfortunately this discipline is yet to act fully which is a major discipline in sports medicine,” he said.

The sports medicine expert says there is no shortcut treatment for injuries like tear of ligaments, tendons, muscles, shoulder injury, groin as well as ankle injuries. “No need to rush to join sports with incomplete rehabilitation.”

“The player can return to sports only when he is pain free with flexibility and full range of motion with the clearance from physician or physio.”

Shehabullah also warns against getting advise from unqualified or fake physios.

He cautions against using injectables/supplements available in the market which may be detrimental for the health. For poor performance without injury players should consult recognised sports psychologist, he added.

“Say no to drugs and play true,” he signed off.

As a hobby, Dr Mahmoud has a rare collection of Olympic pins of different countries — which numbers more than 6,000 — gathered from 8 Summer Olympic Games (1988 Seoul to 2016 Rio Brazil).

He had also attended three World Cup hockey events, six Asian Games and three Arab Games in his event-filled sports medical career.

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