PTO moves to test athletes ‘out-of-competition’, but doping tests still not fully covered

Collin Chartier was caught as a doper last year (Picture: PTO)

The PTO faced some criticism recently when it was revealed that not all athletes competing in the T100 series are being checked for the use of banned substances in the same way. Now the PTO is taking action by tightening up doping controls with more ‘out-of-competition’ checks, but notable detail is that there are still distinctions between different athletes.

Previously, it appeared that different T100 athletes could already invariably count on different out-of-competition tests, i.e., tests that are unannounced and conducted outside the races, while others do not have to deal with them at all. It created the bizarre situation where, after his victory at the T100 in Singapore, Youri Keulen was totally arbitrarily accused of doping because he, as a Dutchman, for example, is checked much less than some of his competitors. Logically, the accusations against Keulen were based on no evidence other than fewer doping tests.

Now the PTO is going to conduct more doping tests and all contracted athletes will be included into a “Global Registered Testing Pool” (RTP), so they can expect to be tested anyway. Wildcard athletes, however, enter this RTP only after they have participated in a minimum of three T100-races. However, many wildcard athletes will not compete in three or more races and thus are still outside the RTP despite the new measures.

The checks are carried out by the International Testing Agency (ITA), which performs this work on behalf of World Triathlon. There is also cooperation with the national doping authorities and the PTO will offer an “educational anti-doping” program to all athletes.

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.