British Triathlon is supporting the European Triathlon Union’s (ETU) decision to include random drug testing for age-group athletes at the Glasgow 2018 European Championships. The event will feature elite and age-group triathlon next summer; and qualified athletes are encouraged to fully understand the process and implications of random drug testing, including accessing free Clean Sport training webinars in the lead up to the championships.
One of six sports taking place across the ten-day showcase, the triathlon events in Glasgow get underway in Strathclyde Country Park from 9-11 August 2018 – featuring the Elite Standard Distance, Elite Mixed Relay and age-group ETU Sprint Distance Triathlon European Championships.
Age-group drug testing has already been taking place at international events, but this will be the first time that it will operate at an international event in Britain. A successful pilot testing scheme, run by UK Anti-Doping (UKAD), took place at the British Triathlon Age-Group Team qualification event at Thorpe Park in September with the aim of familiarising more athletes with the testing process.
Fifty-seven athletes were randomly selected to attend a mock test and education session at the event last month. Additional athletes voluntarily engaged with clean sport trainers, and the process was reportedly met with excellent feedback from those who took part.
Ian Howard, British Triathlon President, said “There have been a number of age-group anti-doping rule violations in other countries, some of which may have been inadvertent; so we have a duty of care to ensure that our athletes are educated about clean sport. This has been in our plans for some time in line with our objective of ensuring a level playing field for all competitors.”
British Triathlon is supporting ETU’s decision to increase the amount of in-competition drug testing for age-group athletes at international events and will look to roll out its anti-doping education programme across the wider triathlon community in forthcoming months.
A further age-group testing programme post-Glasgow 2018 is currently being developed by British Triathlon.
There will be an educational workshop at the upcoming British Triathlon and Triathlon England AGM and Workshop day on 11 November in Loughborough for those interested to learn more. Spaces on the free course are limited, so athletes are advised to book early to secure a spot.