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PTO athletes to be added to World Triathlon testing pool

All contracted athletes competing in lucrative new long-distance triathlon tour will now be part of random drug testing program

Photo by: Kevin Mackinnon

After recent revelations that many of the athletes competing on the T100 events were not part of any random drug testing programs, World Triathlon and the Professional Triathletes Organisation (PTO) have announced “new anti-doping measures, including a growing, global Registered Testing Pool (RTP) that will see athletes tested in and out of competition for the new T100 Triathlon World Tour.”

While some athletes involved in the T100 tour are part of either Ironman’s, World Triathlon’s or their own country’s RTP program, some of the athletes competing on the tour either were never part of those programs, or were no longer included on the random testing lists. Today’s announcement ensures that all the athletes who have contracts or become regular participants in the lucrative new tour will be part of a global testing program.

According to a release from World Triathlon and the PTO:

The new measures include the following and have been active since 7 May, 2024:

  • One global Registered Testing Pool (RTP) covering a range of athletes competing at different triathlon distances. Those athletes contracted to the T100 Triathlon World Tour who were not already in an RTP have been added to it.
  • Inclusion of T100 wildcard athletes in the RTP once they have competed in three or more T100 races during a calendar year, regardless of their PTO ranking.
  • Coordination by the ITA, on behalf of World Triathlon, with all National Anti-Doping Organisation (NADO) and the overseeing of all in-competition testing at T100
  • All PTO members will be included in a full anti-doping Education program, delivered by World Triathlon, including topics such as RTP procedure and ‘whereabouts’. Whereabouts information will give the ITA the intelligence to locate athletes without notice, which is vital to an effective testing process.

Last year the PTO announced it’s new partnership with World Triathlon, making the T100 Triathlon World Tour ” the official World Championship Tour of long distance triathlon.”

PTO Tour becomes T100 Triathlon World Tour and offers 8 races in 2024

“Since the partnership was announced last August, our focus for World Triathlon and PTO has been on implementing comprehensive and effective strategies to uphold the integrity of our sport,” said World Triathlon president and IOC member Marisol Casado. “One of the key initiatives driving this progress is the establishment of a unified, global Registered Testing Pool for all triathlon athletes, no matter the type of race they compete at. While this process has required time and careful consideration, it is a strategic move towards greater efficiency and transparency. By centralising an RTP we aim to streamline information sharing, enhance data analysis capabilities, and bolster our collective efforts to detect and deter doping. This unified approach also lays the foundation for developing biological passports, ensuring a sustainable framework for anti-doping intelligence progression, and we are also committed to providing comprehensive anti-doping education for all triathletes.”

“All the athletes are frequently transitioning between different distances within the sport, and it is key for all of us to prevent overlap and duplication within the RTP,” Casado continued. “And we are not only talking about the PTO, we would love all other triathlon organisers and organisations, to join us in this vital endeavour, fostering a collaborative approach to anti-doping efforts. For World Triathlon, the fight against doping has been key and we have invested close to $30 million dollars since our inception which is a large percentage compared to our annual revenues. This commitment underscores our unwavering dedication to maintaining the highest standards of integrity and fairness across the sport.”

The new anti-doping measures have been embraced by the PTO organizers and athletes.

“Protecting the integrity of our sport is paramount to the purpose of the PTO and our members, which is why we’ve been continuing to work hard together with our partners World Triathlon and other stakeholders in the sport on anti-doping measures,” said PTO CEO Sam Renouf.

“Athletes do not have a choice whether they are covered by an RTP or not, but they will always be the ones in the spotlight when there is any conversation or speculation about anti-doping,” said PTO Athlete Board member and contracted T100 athlete David McNamee. “It is therefore vitally important we know that all is being done – as well as being seen to be done – to ensure that we are competing on a level playing field. So we welcome today’s announcement and will follow its progress with interest. Creating one, global RTP irrespective of the distances you are racing has got to be a positive step forward.”