USATF announces “Zero Tolerance” anti-doping action plan

INDIANAPOLIS – USA Track & Field President Bill Roe and CEO Craig Masback on Wednesday unveiled a major new USATF action plan in the anti-doping movement, called “Zero Tolerance.”

Developed by combining existing programs and USATF priorities with ambitious new initiatives, “Zero Tolerance” focuses on three goals: increasing efforts to catch and punish cheaters; expanding educational efforts and focusing the message on the theme that cheating is wrong and cheaters will be caught; and taking a more visible role on these issues.

With its emphasis on “significant, substantive action steps,” the plan specifically addresses issues in the anti-doping movement that have been writ large, particularly in recent weeks and months.

Among the initiatives being launched by USATF as part of the plan are:

  • A substantially increased set of punishments and fines for athletes who cheat and their coaches. This could include lifetime bans for first steroid offenses and fines up to $100,000 for steroid convictions.
  • Implement a groundbreaking effort to proactively root out cheaters. This program will encourage whistle blowing and ask former cheaters to tell us how they did it so we may share this information with testing authorities.
  • Create an elite athlete outreach program focused on anti-doping messaging. Utilize Golden Spike Tour community outreach programs and USATF youth events to introduce the “Zero Tolerance” program to other elite athletes, young people and college athletes.
  • Call for an emergency drugs in sports summit in Washington, D.C. USATF has called for a summit of major U.S. sports leagues and proposed the meeting be hosted by the Drug Czar’s office.
  • Engage the IAAF on the issue. Urge the IAAF to enforce its own rules requiring all IAAF member countries to conduct out-of-competition testing.

Masback and Roe developed the plan in concert with the USATF Board of Directors, which met October 18-19 in Cleveland. The full text of the plan is attached.