FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Scott Keenan
Grandma's Marathon Institutes Drug Policy
Drug Testing to Return in 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
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
"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
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.