INTRODUCING SALOMON’S NEW ATHLETE TRANSPARENCY PROGRAM AND TRAIL RACES FOCUS
By Robbie LawlessEditor-in-Chief, Salomon Running
As one of the leading trail running brands in the world, we believe we have a huge responsibility to make every effort to keep the sport clean. How could we contribute to a trail running future with healthy athletes and free from performance enhancing drugs? Our solution is something we're incredibly proud of – The Salomon Athletes Transparency Program.Our new program is one of the strictest healthcare programs any competitive team has imposed on its own athletes. Throughout 2017, 16 Salomon athletes (eight men and eight women) will undergo 10 blood analyses—including the possibility of blood, urine and capillary controls—conducted at random times. The program will be administered by Quartz, a program from Athletes for Transparency, an independent agency that monitors the health of athletes and also has the ability to detect possible pathologies as well as abnormal profiles related to doping. It will be a contractual requirement that these Salomon athletes be part of the program and any sanctions against team members will be published on a public platform.
“We are initiating this program to create a tool for athletes to prove their integrity; to show that they are clean and to continue to uphold the honor and values of the sport we all love,” says Greg Vollet, Salomon’s Global Trail Running Sports and Community Marketing Manager.
Every one of our athletes who has been approached for the program has responded with enthusiasm over the opportunity to help foster trail running’s honourable values, including the biggest name in the sport, Kilian Jornet.
“I really think this new program from Salomon will be a step forward on the anti-doping fight and a way to be more sure that all of us athletes are clean," says Kilian. "By making the results public and having clear rules not to accept any Therapeutic Use Exemptions at the start of any race, we will be able to be sure people are racing healthy.”
Under our new program, violations will include: an athlete forgetting to tell testers his or her location, forgetting to write down his/her medicines or food compliments, an irregularity in a test result, a positive control, or requiring Therapeutic Use Exemptions from a doctor. If an athlete has a doctor’s authorization for a medical prescription, that athlete will be considered ill and not allowed to compete in the race.Along with our responsibility for a clean sport, we also believe our role is to grow trail running while keeping the core values intact and ensuring that the best athletes in the sport get the chance to battle it out with each other on a regular basis. With this is mind, we've selected five races on the global calendar where we will focus our attention on having the deepest start fields and delivering improved media accessibility and content, and provide exceptional organization for all competitors—including running workshops, SalomonTV screenings and much more. By doing so, we're hoping to turn these races into events that celebrate the sport and generate greater interest.
“Our goal in expanding our support of these five races is to better promote trail running by attracting the top talent to race against each other more frequently, but also to turn the races into events that allow the trail running community to come together and celebrate the sport,” said Greg Vollet, Salomon’s Global Trail Running Sports and Community Marketing Manager. “The elite athletes of our sport have provided us with countless moments of inspiration and, together with our Salomon brand content and community running events, helped grow the sport to a place that seemed unreachable just a few years ago. It’s only fair to reward their efforts.”
The five races on which the brand will focus its initial efforts include the Maxi Race in Salomon’s hometown of Annecy, France; the Mont Blanc Marathon in Chamonix, France; the Swiss Alpine Marathon in Davos; the Glen Coe Skyline in Scotland; and the Ultra Pireneu in Spain.In addition to providing a more professional experience for athletes, journalists and partners involved in these races, the brand will also stage SalomonTV screenings and How to Trail Run workshops in the days leading up to the race, allowing amateurs to receive advice from elite international athletes. There will also be educational conferences on anti-doping control, including how positive controls can happen, the use of food supplements and the dangers of over indulgence on anti-inflammatories.We're extremely excited to launch these new brand-led initiatives and look forward to seeing how they develop in the future. Here's to an amazing 2017 running season.