UTMB series clamps down on painkiller use in races

The global trail running giant is going further than WADA when it comes to NSAIDs

UTMB Mont Blanc

by Trail Running |

The organisers of the UTMB World Series are to ban the use of painkillers in its races.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen are not banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency code but the UTMB Mont Blanc disallows their use within 24 hours of the race.

The UTMB's QUARTZ Event heath programme carried out post-race drugs testing for the first time this year. From 30 post-race tests, they found the presence of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in three separate cases.

Organisers said: "After discussing with the QUARTZ Event experts and seen that 1) the above-mentioned D+1 tests were implemented this year for the first time and 2) this is a first-time violation and the breach in the regulations could be linked to a lack of knowledge of these medical rules, the organisation has decided not to disqualify these three athletes. However, in case of a further violation in a future race applying the QUARTZ Event Program these athletes will be automatically disqualified or penalised."

QUARTZ will be applied in all approximately 30 events in its new UTMB World Series from next season.

Under the QUARTZ programme, runners agree not to take part in the following:

Within 60 days before the start of the competition and during the competition:

Intravenous iron infusion

Within 7 days before the start of the competition and during the competition:

Intravenous infusion

Gas inhalation

Substance subject to a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) according to the WADA Prohibited List

All glucocorticoids regardless of the mode of administration

Thyroid synthesis hormones except in case of partial or total removal of the thyroid or hypothyroidism of medical origin.

Within 24 hours before the start of the competition and during the competition:

All beta-2-agonists regardless of the mode of administration

All painkillers including Tramadol and Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) regardless of the mode of administration

All substances included in the WADA Monitoring Program.

Before the main races of this year's UTMB festival, blood, saliva, hair, urine were taken from runners. A total of 183 samples were taken. Of the 30 tests taken straight after the race, three returned abnormal results - all for NSAIDs.

Pic: This year's UTMB (credit: Laurent Salino)

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