Road Runners Club of America

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RRCA Recommends Events Adopt a Prize Eligibility Policy

05/26/2016

Doping is a problem in our sport from elites to masters to grand master competitors.  Quite likely, doping is occurring at your races if you offer prize money.  To ensure the integrity of the sport, race organizers can and must take a more pro-active stance when it comes to developing their elite athlete fields and conditions of eligibility for winning prize money.  I hear it often that mid-sized races that value competition and provide prize money, often times really good prize purses ($5K - $10K+), note they can’t afford to test athletes and still provide prize money.  While this makes sense, all events can and must do more to be part of the solution to stamp out doping in our sport. Unfortunately promising talks between major event directors, industry leaders, USADA, and USATF about implementing an athlete licensing program for elite runners (both foreign and domestic), similar to USA Triathlon’s licensing efforts, have stalled out and seemed to have “died on the vine” in the legal department at USATF over the last 18-months.

Barring action from the governing body of our sport related to professional athlete licensing, which may or may not ever happen, local organizations need to adopt their own prize money eligibility policies as part of the grassroots efforts to stamp out doping. With that said, the RRCA has consulted its legal advisors at Webster, Chamberlain & Bean in advance of promoting this policy to our members. 

As such, the RRCA gives the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon’s policy, found ​in Inside Track, our “seal of approval,” and we strongly encourage all members offering prize money at races to adopt their own prize money eligibility policy. The RRCA will work with our Championship Event hosts over the next year to adopt this policy as part of our ongoing zero tolerance position on doping.  The sample policy, with our recommended recourse section, along with a sample athlete attestation statement can be found on the RRCA website at:

 www.rrca.org/resources/event-directors/fair-competition-policies

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