Athletics Integrity Unit welcomes IAAF Council decision on new out-of-competition testing funding mechanism for road running

Press Release

11th June 2019

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) welcomes the IAAF Council decision to approve a new concept for their IAAF Label Road Races from 2020, which will see the introduction of a funding mechanism for out-of-competition (OOC) testing focused on a large pool of professional road runners.

The landmark decision in the drive for a clean sport will ensure that the IAAF Label Road Races, athletes and athlete representatives, help fund the extensive testing programme. The programme will include test planning, intelligence and investigations, results management, case litigation, and education.

The AIU had conducted an extensive analysis of the risks to the integrity of athletics, and particularly road running, and concluded that the current situation is unsustainable. Road running has a potential doping scandal looming as serious as seen in any sport, as there currently is a very disproportionate relationship between the money available to runners and the likelihood of being caught doping out of competition.

David Howman, Chairman of the AIU, said: “This decision showcases that the key stakeholders in road running are being proactive in addressing integrity challenges in this lucrative segment of the sport of athletics. If ever there was a statement of intent proving the seriousness of a sport in addressing its integrity challenges, this decision is it.

“There are few precedents in sport where private organisers, athletes and athlete representatives alike have come together to make a tangible financial contribution to set up an integrity programme. The IAAF and members of the road running industry deserve tremendous credit for underlining their commitment to clean sport by responding to the identified risks and taking this proactive measure.

We are committed to lifting the standards of integrity in athletics. With this new funding we will be able to put together a programme that will ensure that a level playing field can be enjoyed by all road runners. This initiative will ensure lasting and meaningful change in athletics and make sure the public confidence in the integrity of the sport is maintained,” he added.

Earlier this year, the AIU entered an enhanced partnership with the Abbott World Marathon Majors in which their six races – the Berlin, Boston, Chicago, London, New York and Tokyo marathons – agreed to provide additional funding for an extensive intelligence-driven testing programme dedicated to monitoring and analysing the leading competitors in distance running.

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