World Marathon Majors to increase doping tests for elites

Liliya Shobukhova wins the 2010 Chicago World Marathon Major. She has since been stripped of her title for doping.

Following last week's release of WADA's independent commission into the athletics doping scandal, elite runners competing in the Abbott World Marathon Majors will be subject to rigorous, more frequent doping tests.

Athletes competing at the Marathon Majors (London, Boston, Berlin, Tokyo, Chicago and New York) will be entered into the testing pool if they have run a marathon faster than 2:27 if female or 2:11 if male (see the full criteria here). They will be required to undertake a minimum of six out-of-competition tests each year.

Virgin Money London Marathon chief executive Nick Bitel has released a statement saying "Since 2002 all invited athletes running in London are subject to blood tests in the week before the race and the top three and other random athletes are then subject to urine testing immediately after the event. The London Marathon was the first athletics event anywhere in the world to have blood tests for all of its invited athletes."

"However, we know that we cannot eradicate doping in marathon running on our own. We rely on partnerships with the IAAF and other organisations to deliver the global testing programme.

Lord Coe, the new President of the IAAF, has said that he will take action following the WADA report and we look forward to hearing his plans for prompt and effective action to ensure the integrity of the sport and safeguard the integrity of the global anti-doping programme."