As an unequivocal confirmation of its commitment to eradicating the use of prohibited substances and methods in triathlon, World Triathlon continues to commit time, effort, energy and a substantial budget to its anti-doping mission.
As you are aware, over the years various regulatory mechanisms have been established and implemented to curb the incidence of doping in our sport and in sport in general. All these mechanisms seek to efficiently and effectively deter all triathletes from using prohibited substances. More importantly, these mechanisms are the main tools that will allow World Triathlon to catch and punish anyone who cheats, all the while seeking to maintain a level playing field for every clean and fair athlete.
The use of prohibited methods and substances by athletes in all sports is pervasive and troubling. Still, according to yearly statistics, World Triathlon athletes have, for the most part, respected their duties as athletes under the ITU Anti-Doping Rules and the World Code. For this, World Triathlon commends you. In fact, we take pride in the knowledge that so few anti-doping rule violations have occurred in our sport at an international level.
This does not mean that our work is done. As we have learned through the doping scandals that have occurred in various sports over the last few years, the fight against doping is arduous. It requires long-term commitment, it demands transparency and it is dependent upon cooperation and collaboration. World Triathlon shall therefore strive to render its anti-doping program even more successful in the future as it continues its fight to rid sport of doping.
Here are some of the components of the 2019 ITU Anti-Doping Program:
1. Regulatory mechanisms:
As with all other Code Signatories, the ITU Anti-Doping Program was subject to the onerous WADA’s Code Compliance exercise in 2017 and again in 2019 to verify that all aspects of the ITU’s anti-doping program complied with the World Anti-Doping Code. For the most part, ITU met expectations. And, where ITU fell short in meeting some of its obligations, WADA outlined by way of a Corrective Action Plan the steps that needed to be taken by ITU to reach full compliance.
After promptly acknowledging the contents of WADA’s Corrective Action Plan and outlining the actions ITU would need to implement to meet its compliancy requirements, ITU is proud to assert that all the corrective actions identified by WADA have already been addressed. Therefore, WADA has now confirmed that ITU has met all of the Code requirements.
These Code requirements are many and among other include:
We remind you that the ITU Anti-Doping Rules are the fundamental backdrop of ITUs Anti-Doping Program. However, the ITU Anti-Doping Rules also incorporate by reference all the WADA International Standards. These mandatory International Standards, as well as the 2015 World Anti-Doping Code, can all be downloaded on the WADA Website at www.wada-ama.org.
Because all ITU athletes and support personnel are bound by the ITU Anti-Doping Rules, you are strongly encouraged to get acquainted with all these regulatory documents.
2. Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUE)
Athletes may have illnesses or conditions that require them to take particular medications or to utilize particular methods of treatment.
If an Athlete is required to take a medication to treat an illness or a documented medical condition and this substance or method is on the Prohibited List, a TUE authorizes the Athlete to take the needed substance or method for therapeutic reasons - so long as the Athlete fulfills all the mandatory criteria to do so. Athletes may apply to their National Anti-Doping Organisation for a TUE or to the ITU.
ITU has a qualified TUE Committee who is responsible for processing all TUE applications for international level athletes and deciding whether or not a TUE should be granted.
More information on the ITU TUE process can be downloaded here: ITU TUE Process
ITU’s TUE Application form can be downloaded here: ITU TUE Application Form
3. Out-Of-Competition Testing (OOCT)
In accordance with its 2019 Test Distribution Plan, ITU is acting with the CCES to maintain its OOCT numbers testing based on reasoned and efficient test distribution planning. To this end, ITU runs a Registered Testing Pool and secondary Testing Pool composed of Athletes who are required to submit whereabouts information for the purpose of OOCT.
Over and above this OOCT plan and the usual requisite in-competition testing, ITU continues to cooperate with WADA in its conducting of supplementary OOCT testing on behalf of ITU.
4. Increased and efficient In Competition Testing
In addition to the OOCT testing that is being done, ITU also maintains its requirements for in- competition testing. By using a variety of random and targeted tests before and after ITU Events, ITU keeps its in-competition testing program unpredictable and efficient.
5. Athlete Biological Passport (ABP)
The objective of integrating the ABP into the larger framework of the ITU’s anti-doping program remains to identify and to target athletes for specific analytical testing (e.g., recombinant EPO test, homologous blood transfusion test) by intelligent and timely interpretation of biological passport data. SAIDS is the Athlete Passport Management Unit that monitors ITU’s ABP.
ITU believes it has properly integrated the ABP into its existing doping control program by weighing all factors including the required resources and capacity to operate such a program. As such, you can all expect for ITU to continue to build is ABP database in 2019 and to use it to effectively and efficiently complement all its other anti-doping initiatives.
6. National Federations Testing
It is each national federation’s responsibility to ensure that all national-level testing on its national federation’s athletes complies with ITU’s Anti-Doping Rules. In some countries, the national federation itself will be conducting the doping control. In other countries, many of the doping control responsibilities of the national federation have been delegated to a National Anti-Doping Organization (NADOs). NADOs often work with ITU and its national federations to determine their National Registered Testing Pools (NRTP). These NRTP’s supplement ITU’s International Registered Testing Pool and help to provide a comprehensive and cohesive out-of-competition testing program for our triathletes.
ITU reminds all national federations that they are required to submit the results of their testing to ITU as well as to provide prompt results management information to ITU throughout their disciplinary processes.
ITU maintains its steadfast commitment to education. ITU firmly believes that all athletes, at all levels, must be educated on the dangers of using drugs for their health, their athlete status, their national pride, their reputations and ultimately, their legacy.
ITU shall continue to implement the WADA Outreach Model at various events. We will also actively engage national federations in the dissemination of materials to athletes at all levels; increase the information links on our ITU website and actively encourage coaches and trainers to better acquaint themselves with all the elements of both the ITU and the World Anti-Doping Program so they all are informed and accountable.
While ITU continues to invest and actively engage itself in the fight against doping, we equally believe that everyone involved in triathlon has a part to play in eradicating the use of prohibited substances and methods in sport. Together, we can make sure that all our athletes, their support staff and medical personnel are aware of their obligations and responsibilities with regards to doping, and stay clean, and healthy. This is for the athlete’s best interest – and for the best interest and longevity of the sport.
The ITU thanks you for taking your responsibilities regarding anti-doping seriously and for protecting the integrity of triathlon, for promoting the health and well-being of all our athletes and for respecting and honouring the intrinsic values of sport in general.