From 1971, the Italian government protected the health of all its athletes with regularly updated laws regulating preventive pre-participation screening in competitive and non-competitive sports. Competitive athletes had to undergo preventive screening annually. This included a medical history, a clinical evaluation, urinalysis, lung function tests and an ECG at rest and after a step test. This evaluation should only be carried out by a certified sports physician, who was also legally responsible for the correctness of the assessment and who had to make a final judgment about whether or not to participate in sports.
At the 1969 FIMS Congress in Romania, Turkish Professor Necati Akin proposed to set up an association for sports medicine in the Balkans. The Balkan Sports Medicine Association was born in 1971 and established contacts between the sports physicians of Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Turkey and Yugoslavia. Later Albania, Cyprus, Macedonia, Moldova and Serbia also joined. In 1972, the first Balkan Congress of Sports Medicine was held in Athens. Due to the annual oversupply of sports medicine congresses and for many historical and political reasons, the BSMA Executive Committee decided to freeze this activity in order to fully focus on the auspices of the European Federation of Sports Associations. In 2008, the fifteenth and final Balkan Sports Medicine Congress was held in Bucharest.
In 1971, American cardiologists Robert A. Bruce (1916-2004) and Harold T. Dodge (1920-1999) launched the Seattle Heart Watch program. The program tested the feasibility, utility, and reproducibility of the results of symptom-limited exercise trials in ambulatory cardiac patients and in apparently healthy subjects. In ten years' time, a database of more than 10,000 people was collected. Via a dataphone, the signals from treadmill monitors from fifteen different test locations were forwarded for analysis to the research laboratory of the University Hospital and the follow-up questionnaires of thousands of patients were kept in the course of the following years. This database was used to determine normal values based on age, gender and usual activity pattern. Duration of exercise was the most important parameter for estimating what Bruce called functional aerobic impairment. The Seattle Heart Watch program demonstrated the feasibility and safety of the Bruce protocol and also demonstrated that it was a powerful and predictive tool.
The development of a simple rowing ergometer by Gjessing-Nilson was an important step in the history of the rowing machines. The Norwegian Gjessing ergometer used a braking system with industrial belt friction over the edge of the flywheel. Weights were attached to the belt so that the user could calculate the amount of friction produced. At the wheel, a leather strap ran over a pulley, allowing the user to adjust acceleration and speed. Although rudimentary, this machine was considered the best available and most accurate.
That same year, California's Gamut Engineering launched the Gamut rowing ergometer.