World Marathon Majors (WMM) members Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York have collectively revised their elite athlete contracts to include stricter anti-doping penalties. New provisions will include the right for the events to suspend payment and to demand repayment of prize money, appearances fees, and performance bonuses for any athlete found in violation of a criminal offense involving drugs, anti-doping rules, or if for any other reason the athlete's result has been nullified by a relevant governing body.
These new penalties are part of WMM's continuing effort to be a leader in the anti-doping movement, having gone above and beyond standard drug testing at its events. WMM has supported increasing the number and frequency of out-of-competition drug tests in Ethiopia and Kenya. The events aim to ensure the integrity of the athletes competing in their races, with the majority of top male and female competitors hailing from these two countries. Additionally, WWM has previously agreed that any athlete found guilty of a doping offence will not be invited back to its races.
"This is a great initiative and a very positive and strong move by the World Marathon Majors, which is once again leading the field by example," said Paula Radcliffe, the current women's world record-holder in the marathon and past winner of the London, Chicago and New York City Marathons. "I would love to see all major events follow its lead. The cheats need to understand that they are not welcome in our sport and will be caught and made to pay. This is a step forward in increasing the deterrent and showing athletes and managers that cheating won't be tolerated. Having to pay back all money won while cheating is common sense and a logical element that has been missing for a long time. It is clear that any monies won while cheating are tantamount to fraud and should be returned."
New anti-doping provisions in WMM elite athlete contracts will include the following:
- The athlete acknowledges that his/her right to receive payment is conditional upon remaining fully compliant with all applicable anti-doping rules
- If the athlete is found-before, during or after the term of the agreement-to have committed a criminal offence involving drugs, or an anti-doping rule violation, or if for any other reason the athlete's result in the marathon is later nullified by a relevant governing body, then the marathon organizer will have the following rights:
- The right to reduce or suspend payments due to the athlete, or to terminate the agreement with immediate effect
- The right to repayment from athlete of all or part of the money paid to the athlete under the agreement
About World Marathon Majors
Established in 2006, World Marathon Majors (WMM) is a race series comprised of the Tokyo, Boston, Virgin London, BMW Berlin, Bank of America Chicago, and ING New York City Marathons. In the years in which they are run, WMM also includes the IAAF World Championships and Olympic Marathons. At the conclusion of a two-year cycle, WMM offers a $1 million prize purse to be split equally between the top male and female marathoners in the world. The inaugural 2006 - 2007 series launched at the 110th Boston Marathon on April 17, 2006 and concluded at the ING New York City Marathon on November 4, 2007. The 2013 - 2014 series begins with the Tokyo Marathon on February 24, 2013 and will conclude at the ING New York City Marathon on November 2, 2014.