The Global Allergy and Asthma European Network (GA2LEN) will be conducting a study of athletes competing in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. The research will focus on the prevalence and diagnosis rates of asthma and allergies among top athletes in summer sports. Olympic competitors will be studied before, during, and after the Games with regular clinical examinations.

Some objectives of the study:
•    Specify the prevalence of asthma, exercise induced asthma, and other allergic diseases among European athletes qualified for the Beijing Olympics.
•    Assess the impact of environmental pollution on asthma symptoms and lung function and identify athletes who may develop symptoms.
•    Confirm the validity of research tools for future studies in sports and allergic diseases.

The Sport and Asthma: GA2LEN Olympic study is the first pan-European study of allergy and asthma in athletes. The study was initiated in Norway by request of the National Olympic Committee in order to provide care to athletes if it is needed. Additionally, the scientists were interested in the effect of air quality and pollution on the athletes, which developed from speculation surrounding the host city’s poor air quality.