ATHLETICS NEWS - The organisers of six of the world's most prestigious marathon races are spending a six-figure sum on an "intelligent", targeted anti-doping programme in an attempt to root out cheats.
The Abbott World Marathon Majors, which groups six of the world's best-known races, says the lucrative rewards on offer in road racing make it especially vulnerable to doping.
"Running is a fantastic sport and it is vital there is integrity in the results," said Tim Hadzima, executive director of the consortium which groups the Boston, New York, Chicago, Tokyo, London and Berlin marathons.
"It is the most lucrative discipline there is...therefore it has a high risk of doping," he told a conference call on the new programme.
The winners of the men's and women's Boston Marathon, for example, each received $150 000 last year, while in New York they earned $100 000.
Hadzima did not give an exact figure for the cost of the testing programme but he said it would be a "decent six-figure sum."
The programme will be implemented together with Athletics Integrity United (AIU), set up in 2017 as part of the IAAF's effort to tackle doping and corruption and rebuild both athletes' and fans' confidence in the sport.