NPI Medicine Team

The mission of the medical team is to be an example of a world leading medical team in the support of elite athletes and recognised by athletes, coaches and practitioners as such.

We aim to maximise priority-WCP athlete availability for full training and competition and to enhance the chance of medal success at major global championships.


Specialist Sports Medicine support is available to provide expertise in injury and illness prevention, diagnosis and treatment and, in addition, to optimise athlete health and performance.


The aims of sports medicine support are to optimise performance and minimise time loss from training by:

  • Providing innovative sports injury and illness prevention strategies.
  • Providing prompt diagnosis of injury and illness.
  • Performing prompt investigations, such as scans and blood analysis.
  • Providing proactive, bespoke treatment of injury and illness.
  • Developing bespoke and innovative solutions to injury/illness questions.
  • Safeguard athlete welfare in our daily interactions with athletes and colleagues.
  • Developing close and supportive working relationships with coaches and athletes.

Examples of Medicine Support: 

Medical Screening: Screening for underlying medical or musculoskeletal issues that might predispose to injury or illness. Examples include blood screening for vitamin and mineral deficiencies, cardiac or respiratory disease, or spine and tendon issues.

Appointments: Individual athlete appointments, with coach when possible, to discuss medical or injury concerns.

Interdisciplinary working: The sports physicians aim to work with coaches and other members of the science and medicine team, including physical therapists (physiotherapy, osteopathy and soft tissue specialists), strength and conditioning coach, biomechanics, and nutrition in providing bespoke solutions to injury and illness questions.

Specialist Investigations: The sports physicians are able to provide on-site diagnostic ultrasound to help diagnose soft tissue injuries as well as blood testing. Other investigations include ECGs, Spirometry and access to MRI scanning.

Prescribing: The sports physicians can prescribe medication to athletes to treat acute conditions.

Specialist Interventions: The sports physicians are able to provide treatments in a number of specialised areas.

Referrals to other specialists: When appropriate, the sports physicians refer to other physicians for interventions such as surgery.

Competition Support: Sports physicians travel with Great Britain teams to provide medical support.

Medical Team:

Dr Noel Pollock (Chief Medical Officer)
Noel leads the medical team of doctors, physiotherapists, osteopaths and soft tissue therapists. He provides clinical sports medicine services for WCPP athletes, in the prevention, diagnosis and management of illness and injury, to optimise availability for training and competition performance.
Dr Noel Pollock graduated with Honours in Medicine from Queen’s University Belfast and completed an MSc with Distinction in Sport & Exercise Medicine (SEM) at Bath University.
He has worked with British Athletics since 2006 and has been the Great Britain Athletics team doctor at over 20 European & World Championships, Paralympic and Olympic Games.

He is a former endurance athlete with a 1500m best of 3:44 but now he just runs after his 3 kids, Amelie, Alex and Isla.

Dr James Brown (Medical Officer)
James is a Sports Medicine Doctor for British Athletics based in Loughborough at the National Performance Institute.
He has worked in Sports Medicine since 1996, starting in Rugby League then Union and also in cricket, ballet and since 2012 British Triathlon. He joined British Athletics in Jan 2017.

Julie Hayton (Medical Services Manager)
Info to follow

Sammy Thorsen (NPI Services Administrator)
To help coordinate the services at available at the NPI for both the Sports Science and Sports Medicine departments.

Sammy has a background in rugby union working as a sports therapist, and has also previously worked for the sports department at Loughborough University.