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20th May 2024

Anti-doping: UTMB Group strengthens its commitment to clean trail-running

100,000 Euro investment in 2024

Tests conducted by the International Testing Agency (ITA), an independent organization

Creation of UTMB World Series anti-doping rules in line with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)

Educative training program for elite athletes and their managers to support and guide them in their practices

As a long-standing promoter of clean and ethical trail running, UTMB Group believes in the need for a robust anti-doping policy to support the growth of the sport and guarantee the integrity and transparency of the competition. In 2024 the company is strengthening its commitment and investing a minimum of 100,000 Euros in close collaboration with the International Testing Agency (ITA), an independent organisation and expert in the fight against doping.

Systematic and random testing by an independent organisation

Systematic and random testing by an independent organisation In 2023 UTMB Group took the lead in the fight against doping, underlining its commitment by deciding to no longer rely solely on tests carried out by national anti-doping agencies. As these agencies cover all sports, they could not guarantee regular testing at UTMB World Series events.

UTMB Group therefore carried out systematic podium tests, as well as random tests, at the Finals and the Majors. These efforts will continue in 2024 with the company investing in around 100 tests in close collaboration with the ITA, who will test randomly across the entire UTMB World Series circuit.

Frédéric Lenart, UTMB Group Managing Director: “As a major player in trail running worldwide, we have a responsibility in the fight against doping in our sport. We take this responsibility very seriously. The commitments we made in 2023 were necessary and welcomed by the trail running community: we're stepping them up this year. It's a further step towards assisting the athletes, providing a solid education program. We are keen to support on this complex subject.”

A clear framework in line with international standards

A complete set of anti-doping rules, drafted with the support of the ITA, is being introduced this year to guarantee the transparency of the regulations and their application, and to provide everyone with a reliable tool that is in line with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

The ‘UTMB World Series Anti-doping rules’ specify the scope of their application, the responsibilities of each of the parties involved, and the penalties and sanctions incurred by those that test positive. The detailed rules also provide a list of prohibited substances and methods, and set out the consequences of doping, the testing procedures, and therapeutic exceptions, etc.

Education and raising awareness: supporting athletes on their sporting journey

To actively support trail running athletes in understanding their rights and to help them to fulfil their responsibilities in the fight against doping, UTMB Group has offered an education and awareness program designed for runners. Free webinars, conducted by experts from the ITA, were made available to 1,400 athletes, enabling an easy understanding and application of the anti-doping rules and procedures in force, as well as teaching more about the dangers and consequences of doping.

These educational programs give the athletes a voice on the topic and an opportunity to ask questions.

Corrine Malcom PTRA Board Member: “The anti-doping testing and framework that you'll see implemented as in-competition controls as part of the UTMB World Series this year is more than a year in the making. We (the PTRA) are incredibly happy to be working with the team at UTMB Group and at the ITA to take what is the first of many steps forward when it comes to safe and fair sport in trail and ultrarunning. We recognize that in-competition controls are just one of many steps needed, and will continue to work with UTMB Group and the ITA to carry out athlete, team, and race personnel education. I want to recognize that this is no small feat and commend UTMB Group for putting up the financial resources to make this first piece of the puzzle possible.”

An expert and independent partner

UTMB Group has chosen to work with anti-doping experts to create and manage this ambitious program. The ITA is an independent international non-profit foundation that specializes in the fight against doping in sport. The organization's mission is to manage anti-doping programs independently of sporting or political powers, for International Federations (Ifs), Major Event Organizers (MEOs) and all other anti-doping organizations requesting support.

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