NEW BEST FRIENDS… THE AND
They haven’t always seen eye to eye, but a unique partnership has been announced between the International Triathlon Union and Ironman
he union between two of the biggest names in triathlon, the ITU and Ironman, marks a remarkable step forward in mending the chasm that once yawned between the two bodies under their predecessors. According to Slow Twitch the ITU twice took legal action to stop Ironman from calling its races world championships, losing on both occasions. The row culminated in Ironman being expelled from ITU’s governance for two years from 2004 to 2006.
But over the last few years, under the leadership of ITU President Marisol Casado and Ironman President and CEO Andrew Messick, the two have not only mended bridges but began to work closely together.
Now, after a week of meetings at Ironman’s headquarters in Florida, the two have signed a “historic co‑operation framework to further develop and grow triathlon”.
Senior leaders, including these two leaders have signed a Memorandum of Understanding agreeing to a number of key priorities on everything from standardising rules and making the sport cleaner and safer, to boosting opportunities at age-group level. The agreement includes: • Harmonising anti-doping efforts to continue to protect clean athletes and the integrity of the sport • Working towards ITU being recognized as the singular international federation leading the sport of triathlon • The ITU sanctioning select Ironman events as international events • The ITU leading co-ordination and communication with its member National Federations to implement standardized rules and reinforce the ITU’s “Clean, Fair & Safe” mandate • Ironman will leverage ITU resources in certain ethics-related matters, including technological fraud, code of conduct, manipulating of sport competition • Working towards a single set of rules (ITU Competition Rules) for long-distance triathlon beginning in 2018 • Developing an athlete-focused edition of those rules with specific distance categories • Alignment of efforts to foster the growth and development of the sport specifically focused on safety, first-time athletes, development of women in the sport, and education.