11/11/2011 08:05 EST | Updated 01/11/2012 05:12 EST

Gymnastics body passes 'no needle' rule at events to protect athletes' health

LAUSANNE, Switzerland - The International Gymnastics Federation has banned athletes in competition getting injections without medical advice, to protect their health and prevent doping.

The federation says the policy takes effect immediately. It first applies at a major event when the trampolining world championships opens next Thursday in Birmingham, England.

Gymnastics follows other sports such as cycling that have introduced "no needle" policies.

The new rule prohibits "all use of syringes 24 hours before or after a competition" unless there is "medical recommendation" to inject a gymnast.