ITU and Ironman sign MOU
The days of full-fledged fighting between the International Triathlon Union (ITU) and Ironman seemed to pretty much end once Marisol Casado took over from Les Mcdonald as the ITU president. During the ’90s and early 2000s the two organizations seemed to clash over a variety of issues and, at one point, Ironman had to create its own insurance program because the ITU wouldn’t sanction it’s events.
Things are much more amicable these days (especially since Ironman bought events company Lagardère Sports and became the owner of five of the ITU’S World Triathlon Series events) and in February the two organizations signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) “to ensure the growth and harmonization of the sport.”
Among the key priorities the ITU and Ironman have agreed to are: Harmonizing 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 ethicsrelated matters, including technological fraud, code of conduct, manipulating of sport competition, etc. 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. Of most interest for athletes will be the anti-doping efforts and the “single set of rules” which should reduce the confusion many athletes have about things like the drafting zone and other rules when they race abroad.—km