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World Marathon Majors, IAAF Increasing Out-of Competition Drug Testing

All aspects of the testing program will be coordinated by the IAAF Medical & Anti-Doping Department.

All aspects of the testing program will be coordinated by the IAAF Medical & Anti-Doping Department.

Beginning this summer, the Abbott World Marathon Majors (AWMM), in partnership with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), will finance increased out-of-competition drug testing for elite athletes participating in World Marathon Majors events. The six race-series includes some of the world’s most prestigious marathons: Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York City. This is the largest anti-doping effort to date by a private athletic organization.

“The Race Directors of the AWMM are determined to eradicate cheating in our events,” Nick Bitel, AWMM General Counsel said in a statement. “We believe that this new testing pool initiative, set up in conjunction with the IAAF, is a major step forward in achieving our aim.”

The testing pool will include approximately 150 athletes, and in order to be eligible to receive any AWMM prize money, all athletes must participate in the testing. Any athlete who earned points in World Marathon Majors competition from 2012-2015 will be included in the test pool. If an athlete is entered in a 2015 World Marathon Majors race and did not score a WMM point from 2012-2014, but is a female who has run better than 2:27 or a male who has run under 2:11 in any marathon during 2012-2014, they will be included in the pool. Also, any male making his marathon debut who has run under 60 minutes for the half marathon, or a female debutante who has broken 69 minutes, will be added to the pool.

According to a release, all aspects of the testing program will be coordinated by the IAAF Medical & Anti-Doping Department to ensure “that collective resources are maximized and all athletes are subjected to an equally rigorous, bespoke testing program.”

This latest anti-doping effort comes following a tumultuous fall where World Marathon Majors leader Rita Jeptoo of Kenya failed a drug test in out-of-competition before defending her Chicago Marathon title. News of her failed doping test broke just before the New York City Marathon in November, where she was to receive the half-million dollar prize for winning the 2013-2014 World Marathon Majors series title.