Association of International Marathons and Distance Races

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AIMS Marathon Symposium

07 November 2015, 3pm

Knowledge shared on doping

Marathon Symposium tackles doping

The 9th AIMS Marathon Symposium held in Athens addressed the subject of "Doping threats in Distance Running". The first speaker at the Symposium was to be Kyle Barber, Medical & Anti-Doping Intelligence Officer at the IAAF, who submitted his apologies.

The keynote speaker at the Symposium was Prof. Yannis Pitsiladis (MMedSci., PhD, FACSM) from the University of Brighton, speaking on the topic of “A Holistic Anti-doping Approach for a Fairer Future for World-class Sport: The SUB2 Marathon Project”. Professor Pitsiladis commented “frequently the research behind detection is insufficient. The sport needs to have serious investment in research into doping assessment rather than token efforts.” Prof. Pitsiladis highlighted research he had carried out into the form of blood doping with ‘EPO’, a project that compared athletes in test situations using EPO in trials in Glasgow, Scotland and compared athletes in the same test circumstances training at altitude in Kenya, Africa. The results showed significant increase in performance by all athletes in both locations when using EPO and also showed the challenge of detecting it as traces disappeared within 48 hours.

When asked about the temptation to dope Prof. Pitsiladis talked about many athletes see it as a way of escaping poverty.

Prof. Pitsiladis has a project to help the first runner to run a doping free sub-two hour marathon, the majority at the conference felt it was not a question of ‘if’ but ‘when’.

The second half of the Marathon Symposium saw presentations on the theme of “Race Organisers, Coaches & Athletes Battle against Doping”. “A Runner’s View” was given by former London Marathon winner and General Secretary of AIMS Hugh Jones. Following Hugh was Mark Milde, Race Director of the BMW Berlin Marathon who spoke on the topic of “Preventive Action Plans Towards Doping Threats”.

AIMS President Paco Borao comments: “Doping is a huge challenge in all sport around the world. I am delighted that such highly respected speakers have come to the AIMS Symposium to share their knowledge and experience with our attendees.”


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