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Grandma's Marathon Institutes Drug Policy
Drug Testing to Return in 2007
Press Release
May 1, 2007

(Duluth, Minn.) Grandma's Marathon - Duluth Inc., today announced the organization has adopted an elite runner drug policy effective immediately. The Grandma's Marathon board of directors voted unanimously to approve the measure, designed to supplement USA Track & Field's (USATF) Zero Tolerance Action Plan to catch and punish athletes who use performance-enhancing drugs.

Elements of the new Grandma's Marathon policy include

* The disqualification of any athlete testing positive for a banned substance at any Grandma's Marathon event.

* Grandma's Marathon will not recruit, subsidize or otherwise assist any athlete who has previously been suspended for using a banned substance.

* Grandma's Marathon organizers will cease relationships with the coach and/or agent of any athlete suspended for banned drug use.

* Elite athletes competing in Grandma's Marathon or the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon are required to sign an affidavit acknowledging awareness of the Grandma's Marathon drug policy and stating that they are not using performance-enhancing drugs.

" It is extremely important for our sport's future to make it loud and clear that cheating will not be tolerated," says Scott Keenan, executive director of Grandma's Marathon. " This policy will help us continue to do our part to inform and educate runners about the consequences and negative impacts of drug use."

The 2006 women's champion of Grandma's Marathon's, Halina Karnatsevich of Belarus, received a two-year ban from national and international competition after she tested positive for a banned substance following last year's race. Upon receiving the test results, Grandma's Marathon officials immediately disqualified Karnatsevich and declared Ukraine's Svetlana Nekhorosh the official women's champion.

In addition, race officials have received confirmation from USATF that drug testing will be administered at the 2007 Grandma's Marathon on June 16. This is the fifth time drug testing will be conducted at Grandma's Marathon — the other years being 1987, 1990, 1994 and 2006.

"We are very fortunate to have drug testing returning to Grandma's Marathon in back-to-back years. It is our goal to do everything we can to ensure that the sport of long-distance running is clean," adds Keenan.

The 31st annual Grandma's Marathon weekend is June 14-16. Registration is closed for the three races held during this year's Grandma's Marathon weekend — Grandma's Marathon, the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon and the William A. Irvin 5K. For more information, visit www.grandmasmarathon.com.

 


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