The International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) has agreed a funding scheme in partnership with the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) to improve the integrity of road racing.
The IAAF council reported that in 2018 74% of podium finishers in Gold Label road races were not included in any out-of-competition testing pools in the sport or within their countries.
With an increasing number of athletes participating in road racing, the organisations have decided that road running is susceptible to doping violations and that there is currently a disproportionate relationship between money available to runners and the probability of being caught for a doping violation.
As of now the AIU only focuses on the top 10-15 male and female athletes in each athletic discipline, leaving second tier athletes to be regulated by national anti-doping organisations. As a result, the IAAF approved the funding scheme, President Sebastian Coe commented, "With its extraordinary growth in recent years, the road racing industry was at the risk of becoming a victim of its own success.”
The scheme will allow AIU to test more athletes for a lower cost and will also include test planning, intelligence and investigations, results management, case litigation and education.
AIU Chairman David Howman also said, "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.”
For more information on the programme visit the IAAF here.