Competitors at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships will once again be able to show their commitment to a drug-free sport this year by wearing a special anti-doping message on their bibs.
All athletes’ bibs will carry the message « I Run Clean » when they take to the course on Sunday in Chia – following the launch of the initiative at last year’s championships.
“We are giving a voice to clean athletes on how they want our sport to be in the future, and our championships are the time for them to make this statement,” said European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen.
“We want this simple ‘I Run Clean’ statement to be adopted by the athletes as a platform for other ways they can fight doping. We need to think how we can take this message to the grassroots, promoted by our elite athletes who care about clean athletics.”
All teams have officially been informed of the policy regarding bibs at the event’s Technical Meeting on Saturday.
European Athletics hopes athletes and fans alike will also share and promote this message of anti-doping on social media platforms using the #irunclean hashtag.
“We want participating athletes to reassure those watching at the course, and at home, that they are competing without resorting to doping. We also want our athletes to encourage aspiring athletes to adopt a clean approach to sports,” added Hansen.
A strong testing programme has been planned for championships in collaboration with the IAAF. Over 50 blood and urine samples will be collected in Chia. The testing plan involves target testing for specific analysis as well as random testing for different age-category running events for both genders.