Spartan Race to Drug Test at World Championships?


Spartan Race has announced that they will be partnering with USADA to provide “anti-doping education” at this years Spartan Race World Championships (SRWC) in Lake Tahoe. From what we know about the testing that USADA provides, this testing is very thorough. A few OCR athletes are known to hedge around the question about performance enhancing drugs and it should be very interesting to see if any of them are no shows at the SRWC based on today’s announcement.

There are a couple of problems with today’s news, however. First, there is no clear designation on whether the athletes will be tested at this year’s event or not. Let’s assume for a minute that Spartan’s intention is to test at Lake Tahoe. Then, this press release serves as a warning, which leads us to our second issue. This type of “scheduled” drug testing almost never amounts to much more than an IQ test. If you know you are having a drug test you can easily cycle out of the drugs you are using based on the type of test you will be receiving. Hopefully, this is the start of what’s known as “out of competition” drug testing as well, not just on race day.

There are many more questions that we can’t wait to hear the answer to…

Will it be for top 5 finsheres? Top 10? Potentially All athletes?

Why did Spartan chose USADA over WADA? (WADA is the association that The OCRWC has chosen to partner with).

Blood test or urine test?

Out of competition testing?

The questions go on and on, we will keep you updated as we learn more. The complete Spartan press release can be read below:

We at ORM support drug testing in the sport of obstacle racing. What’s your take on this announcement?

Boston, Mass. (September 21, 2016) – Beginning at the 2016 Spartan Race World Championship in Lake Tahoe, Calif., Spartan Race is pleased to announce the creation of a joint educational initiative operating in conjunction with the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) that will help provide athletes with a baseline understanding of anti-doping regulations and best practices. For many athletes, this will be their first chance to learn how anti-doping helps protect the health and wellness of athletes, as well as the integrity of sport, while also ensuring that athletes are able to compete clean and win.

Prior to the start of competition, USADA will deliver a 30-minute educational presentation at 3:00 p.m. on September 30, which will cover topics like the World Anti-Doping Code, performance-enhancing substances, the risks associated with dietary supplements, and the sample collection process. Athletes will then be able to interact, ask questions, and learn more about anti-doping throughout the weekend by visiting with USADA’s representatives. Friendly experts will also direct athletes to USADA’s various anti-doping resources, such as the Athlete Pocket Guide and Wallet Card.

“By introducing athletes to USADA and anti-doping, Spartan is fully supporting the concept that clean competition is crucial to growing a sustainable and globally recognized sport,” said Spartan Race COO Jeffrey Connor. “This step also illustrates Spartan Race’s continued commitment to the preservation of a level playing field.”

About Spartan:

Spartan Race is the world’s leading obstacle race company and the first of its kind to feature timing and global rankings. With more than 170 events in 25+ countries planned for 2016, Spartan Race has more than 1 million global participants, and offers open heats for all fitness levels as well as competitive and elite heats. With over 5 million passionate social media followers, health and wellness products, as well as the popular NBC television series, Spartan Race has made obstacle racing one of the fastest growing sports—and lifestyles— in the world. Spartan Race features races at three distances, 3+Mile/20+ Obstacle “Sprint,” 8+ Mile/25+ Obstacle “Super” and 12+ Mile/30+ Obstacle “Beast,” culminating each year in the Spartan Race World Championship. Visit for more information, a schedule of events, and to register for a race.

About USADA:

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) is recognized by the United States Congress as the official anti-doping organization for all Olympic, Paralympic, Pan American, and Para Pan American sport in the United States. In addition, USADA is recognized by the UFC as its official, independent anti-doping agency. USADA is dedicated to preserving the integrity of competition, inspiring true sport, and protecting the rights of athletes. Learn more at

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Dario is a long time distance runner and OCR athlete. When not on the roads and trails logging miles he can be found drinking coffee while reading bad science fiction books.
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