Taking place 9-11 August, the European Championships features the Elite Standard Distance, Elite Mixed Relay and age-group ETU Sprint Distance Triathlon European Championships, and qualified athletes are encouraged to fully understand the process and implications of random drug testing. It is advised they access free Clean Sport training webinars in the lead up to the 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 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 the 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 their anti-doping education programme across the wider triathlon community in forthcoming months.