Categorized | Multi-sport, Sports

Ironman promotes ‘I AM TRUE’ anti-doping campaign

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On Saturday, Oct. 8, approximately 1,850 athletes will embark on a 140.6-mile journey that presents the ultimate test of body, mind and spirit to earn the title of “Ironman.”

World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) will be testing professional and elite age-group athletes following the event, but the organization’s work to ensure fair and clean competition, not tarnished by the use of performance enhancing substances, goes on all year.

The WTC Anti-Doping Program is among the most aggressive in sport, it is compliant and recognized by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), and features testing that incorporates the most advanced analytical methods.

“WTC is committed to fair competition and we take our role in the fight against doping seriously,” said Andrew Messick, WTC’s CEO. “We have been diligent in creating a program that balances detection and deterrence, to ensure that the fundamental values of fair play and healthy living are preserved.”

In September 2009, WTC announced the launch of a new, more comprehensive Anti-Doping Program. This program included the implementation of WADA Code compliant rules, the establishment of a WTC Registered Testing Pool for out-of-competition testing, the development of strict anti-doping requirements for all professional and elite age-group athletes who qualify for a WTC World Championship event and increased WTC- directed and funded in-competition testing at Ironman and Ironman 70.3 events.

Today, WTC remains dedicated to implementing its anti-doping efforts to ensure the execution of a WADA Code compliant program and, more importantly, one that is fully committed to preserving the integrity of triathlon competition through testing, education, outreach and results management.

Central to the WTC program is the implementation of blood collection in conformance with the WADA Biological Passport and thus its development of a longitudinal follow-up program for WTC athletes.

Further analysis on blood samples, including human growth hormone (HGH) and Continuous Erythropoiesis Receptor Activator (CERA) testing, are part of the comprehensive analytical approach.

“To be truly effective, an anti-doping program must incorporate a number of different elements,” WADA Director General David Howman said. “Analysis must include a certain amount of blood collection, and it must be supported by education and awareness in order to reach out to athletes and make sure they are fully informed of the risks and dangers involved in doping. WADA applauds all anti-doping programs that include all of these elements.”

WTC works closely with many national anti-doping organizations to ensure coordinated and effective testing worldwide. This year’s efforts will culminate with WTC centralizing missions from among eight different anti-doping organizations to test qualified professional and age-group athletes prior to and at the conclusion of this year’s Ironman World Championship.

WTC also announced the expansion of its I AM TRUE Campaign and will be increasing outreach among its professional and age-group triathletes.

Additionally, WTC engaged the next generation of Ironman athletes with outreach at this year’s Keiki Dip-n-Dash event, which saw dozens of youngsters jumping into Kailua Bay for the race Tuesday afternoon.

T-shirts with the tagline “Ask Me Why I AM True?” encourage athletes to ask each other, and themselves, that very question.

The campaign is designed to invite everyone to be part of the ongoing work of WTC to preserve the integrity of Ironman competition and the sport of triathlon.

Last year’s Ironman World Champion, Mirinda Carfrae, shared her thoughts on clean and true sport in an advertisement recently featured in LAVA Magazine, stating, “I AM TRUE because my motivation is to find and push my natural limits.”

World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) is a Tampa-based company recognized for athletic excellence, distinguished events and quality products. The WTC portfolio includes Ironman, Ironman 70.3, 5150 Triathlon Series, Iron Girl and IronKids, which have a combined total of more than 180 events worldwide each year. Supported by partners including Ford, Timex, Foster Grant and PowerBar, Ironman is the No.1 user-based sports brand in the world and has been a respected name in triathlon since its inception in 1978.

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