Under proposals listed in the agenda for its 58th congress in Thailand next month, the sport’s governing body said it hoped to gradually increase the minimum age over the next three years before the Milano Cortina Games.
“It is conceivable that allowing underage athletes to compete may subject them to loads and risks that are thought to be inappropriate for their age,” the ISU’s medical commission wrote in the proposal.
“Not only physically, but in terms of the psychological and social development of the child. Junior athletes need to cope with multiple stressors on their pathways towards elite sport.”
The ISU medical council said young athletes were exposed to high physiological loads caused by training and competitions.
“Ultimately, performance enhancements are normally the central concern for ambitious athletes, as athletes themselves and by others are continually evaluating their accomplishments,” the medical commission added.