Thursday, September 30, 2010

Increased drug testing at Twin Cities

Twin Cities In Motion will support the USA Track & Field (USATF) "Zero Tolerance" anti-doping policy by voluntarily increasing the number of elite athletes tested to include the women's Open marathon field on Sunday, October 3.

USATF selected the Medtronic TC 10 Mile and the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon to host the USA Women's 10 Mile Championship and the USA Men's Marathon Championship, respectively. Athletes tested at national championship events are selected randomly by U.S. Anti-doping Agency (USADA), and funding for this testing is supported by USADA and the U.S. Olympic Committee. The average cost to test athletes ranges between $500 and $750 per athlete.

In addition to testing athletes competing in the U.S. championship division of the races, Twin Cities In Motion will also test elite athletes from any country competing in the Open division of the marathon. Twin Cities In Motion will cover the cost of the additional tests.

"Twin Cities In Motion, like USA Track & Field, believes in doing everything we can to ensure a clean sport," said Virginia Brophy Achman, Executive Director of Twin Cities In Motion. "Despite the cost that these additional tests incur, we believe it is part of the responsibility in operating a successful, respected event. We also feel drug testing goes hand-in-hand with our support of post-collegiate athletes, who benefit from a level playing field."

USATF announced the "Zero Tolerance" anti-doping plan in 2003 with a focus on increasing education, identifying athletes using performance enhancing drugs and increasing punishments and fines for cheating athletes and their coaches.