Competitors at the Amsterdam 2016 European Athletics Championships will be able to show their commitment to a drug-free sport by wearing a special anti-doping message on their bibs.
The bibs will carry the messages “I Run Clean”, “I Jump Clean”, “I Throw Clean”, and “I Am Clean” for combined events. (There are no walking events in Amsterdam).
“We want to give a voice to clean athletes on how they want our sport to be in the future, and this championships is the time for them to make a statement,” says European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen.
“We want these simple statements to be adopted by the athletes as a platform for other ways they can fight doping. We need to think how we can take this message to the grassroots, promoted by our elite athletes who care about clean athletics.
“The vast majority of athletes are clean but have been hurt by the recent situation and the way their sport and livelihood has been dragged through the mud. It is important to give them the opportunity to express their feelings.”
As usual, all teams will be officially informed of the policy regarding bibs at the event’s Technical Meeting on Tuesday 5 July.
European Athletics hopes athletes and fans alike will also share and promote this message of anti-doping on social media platforms using the #irunclean, #ijumpclean, #ithrowclean hashtags.
“We want participating athletes to reassure those watching at the stadium, and at home, that they are competing without resorting to doping. We also want our athletes to encourage aspiring athletes to adopt a clean approach to sports,” added Hansen.
An extensive testing programme has been planned for these championships in collaboration with the IAAF. Over 100 blood samples and around 200 urine samples will be collected in Amsterdam. The testing plan involves target testing for specific analysis as well as random testing for track, field and road events.
European Athletics’ anti-doping education programme has been one of the central elements of the European Athletics U23 Championships and European Athletics Junior Championships over the past few years.
“The Area Associations have had a very limited role in the fight against drugs in the past but I am making sure European Athletics does more in the fight against doping,” said President Hansen.
“I have been meeting regularly with our advisors to coordinate our work in this area and look at our response to developments outside of European Athletics. I think we need to be proactive and lead in this field.
“We are also now cooperating much more closely with WADA and the IAAF on Anti-Doping matters.
“European Athletics also has to be responsible to give athletes more moral guidance. Our own Medical & Anti-Doping Commission will be working with partners to develop an education system focused on values that I want all athletes to go through as a condition for competing at the European Athletics Championships, or our other events.”