The Trail Running Film Festival - Back on Tour for 2024.

The Trail Running Film Festival - Back on Tour for 2024.

The previous language in the document read (captured via the Wayback Machine):

The Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run (WSER) has a zero-tolerance policy regarding the use of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). Any athlete who has been determined to have violated anti-doping rules or policies, whether enforced by World Athletics (WA), the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) or any other national sports federation is ineligible for entry into the WSER.

The new language goes as follows:

  • Any athlete who has been found to have committed a doping offense at any competition or out of competition by World Athletics, World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), or any national sports federation, shall be ineligible to enter the Run during the period of their ineligibility from competition.
  • Any athlete who has been subject to a ban from competition of three months or more by one of the above-mentioned federations or agencies, shall be ineligible to enter the Run unless otherwise agreed to by WSER.

Bolding in both paragraphs by me.

The full document outlines a lot more details and the changes seem to be in part due to the new partnership with USADA. In previous years the language read a bit more homegrown and the actual testing was done by a third party provider:

Drug testing will be conducted by an independent third-party drug testing administrator (“independent administrator”) to ensure the integrity of the collection, processing, packaging, and evaluation of the specimen. The independent administrator will ensure that all drug collection and testing is done in accordance with WADA rules and regulations.

Now the controls and testing are managed directly by the USADA:

As part of its continuing commitment to clean sport, the Western States Endurance Run (WSER) has partnered with the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) to provide anti-doping services at the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run (the Run), including sample collection and analysis services, results management, adjudication, and sanctions management.

This move by WSER is a step into more professionalism in our sport. Drug testing at trail races is still rarely done, and while prize money hasn’t made our events that competitive, clearly our sport isn’t immune to doping and in need of more professionalization in that regard. (Are there other trail races in the US that do drug testing?) As a result, with this shift WSER aligns its bans to the official guidelines for infraction (for the most part), and that in turn actually relaxes the punishments, while increasing the controls.