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Zero-Tolerance Plan

Approved by USATF Board of Directors May 18, 2011

As the number one track and field team in the world, the largest team at the Summer Olympic Games, and as a high-profile member of the Olympic Family, USA Track & Field has an opportunity and responsibility take comprehensive action to implement and maintain strict policies regarding the fight against doping.  This commitment goes beyond simply subscribing to the rules and tenets of USADA, WADA, the USOC, IAAF and other groups. It requires a commitment to foster a culture in the sport that has Zero Tolerance for performance enhancing drug (PED) use, advocacy or tolerance.
In a landscape where new testing protocols, international regulations, arbitration, law and concepts of fairness are constantly in place, USATF must ensure that its efforts to create a culture of Zero Tolerance in the sport are current, timely and effective. As such, we must regularly review programs we have implemented to date and ensure changes are possible when necessary. Our Zero Tolerance policy must be fluid, while maintaining the staunch opposition to cheating and having effective, rather than merely symbolic, programs to make it effective.
For 2011, USATF’s Zero Tolerance Plan leverages our anti-doping efforts to achieve two broad objectives:

  • Be a staunch supporter of and partner to the organizations who police and punish cheaters in our sport and dedicate resources, time and outreach efforts to advancing the fight against doping
  • Continue to be proactive in USATF educational efforts to promote a clean and ethical sport to all members of the track and field, race walk, and long distance running communities as well as to the general public. This includes athletes of all ages, coaches, officials, agents and any person of influence with athletes.

Below is a detailed breakdown of USATF’s Zero Tolerance-related programs for 2011.

  1. BE A STAUNCH SUPPORTER OF AND PARTNER TO THE ORGANIZATIONS WHO POLICE AND PUNISH CHEATERS IN OUR SPORT AND DEDICATE RESOURCES, TIME AND OUTREACH EFFORTS TO ADVANCING THE FIGHT AGAINST DOPING.

USA Track and Field and its members are governed by rules prohibiting doping and doping-related offenses.  As reflected in USATF Regulation 20, USATF adheres to the policies and protocols which are enforced by agencies charged to police and punish cheaters in the U.S and around the world.  The rules, hearing procedures, penalties, and reinstatement process for doping-related offenses are promulgated by organizations that conduct doping-control programs that include in- and out-of-competition drug testing and protocols for USATF member athletes. These organizations include, but are not limited to:  the IAAF, IOC, USOC, World Anti-doping Agency (WADA), and the United State Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

USATF employs a full-time staff member to work directly with USADA to ensure U.S. track athletes are kept up-to-date on anti-doping requirements, to help facilitate testing at events and to assist with compiling the out-of-competition testing pool. USATF athletes continue to be among the most tested athletes in the world. USADA imposes a strict out-of-competition testing policy as well as testing at all major events in the U.S. In 2010, 614 American track and field athletes were tested a total of 1441 times by USADA in the U.S. (18 percent of all USADA tests on the year). These figures do not include international testing. In an Olympic year, the number of tests can rise to as many as 1800.

Also to assist USADA, in 2003, USATF implemented a whistle-blower program as a mechanism to make it easier for athletes and coaches to report the existence of drugs, cheaters, and those who supply them. Tips provided on the hotline, forwarded directly to USADA, have resulted in the sanctioning of doping cheats.

The U.S. regularly takes part in anti-doping summits and USATF leaders have been outspoken on the issues of PED use, the dangers of unregulated supplements and the role the federation, coaches and other leaders play in influencing athletes against PED use. In 2009, USATF announced a partnership with the Resource Exchange Center to provide USATF members with information on over-the-counter supplements and potential anti-doping risks associated with taking them.

 

  1. CONTINUE TO BE PROACTIVE IN USATF EDUCATIONAL EFFORTS TO PROMOTE A CLEAN AND ETHICAL SPORT TO ALL MEMBERS OF THE TRACK AND FIELD, RACE WALK AND LONG DISTANCE COMMUNITIES, AS WELL AS THE GENERAL PUBLIC. THIS INCLUDES ATHLETES OF ALL AGES, COACHES, OFFICIALS, AGENTS AND ANY PERSONAL OF INFLUENCE WITH ATHLETES.

USATF already has one of the leading anti-doping educational programs of any sport governing body. USATF promotes good nutrition and healthy living and disseminates anti-doping information to our members from youth events through our elite athletes.  USATF endorses and promotes educational programs and tutorials sponsored by USADA and the USOC to all member athletes.

Among the programs in place:

a.        “Win with Integrity” is a community outreach program focused on promoting anti-doping messaging to our youth.  Community outreach programs are held in conjunction with the USATF Indoor and Outdoor Championships and VISA Championship Series events to introduce USATF zero tolerance program messages through presentations by our elite athletes.

b.      USATF conducts elite athlete anti-doping seminars at our Annual Meeting and Rookie Camp.
c.       USATF’s Elite Athlete Handbook provides the latest information from anti-doping organizations.
d.      USATF regularly communicates to elite athletes via social media (Twitter, Facebook) updates and other vital information regarding anti-doping and testing, ensuring athletes are up-to-date and informed.
e.      USATF has instituted full regimens of in-competition drug testing at the Junior National Championships to introduce younger athletes to the rigors of testing protocols.
f.        USATF has instituted anti-doping education at our Youth championship events and is in the process of instituting drug testing for some age groups at youth meets.
g.       USATF’s masters community has aggressively pursued anti-doping education for its athletes and is exploring instating testing at USA masters championships.

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