THREE-time Ironman world champion Chrissie Wellington is spearheading a campaign for greater anti-doping programmes within her sport.
The triathlete, who was born in Bury St Edmunds, posted her drug test history – dating back three years – on her website last month in a bid to prove “athletes can achieve great things.”
“I have been vocal in my repeated calls for a stronger, more rigorous, co-ordinated and consistent anti-doping scheme withing triathlon,” said former Thetford Dolphins swimmer Wellington.
“I welcome the recent steps that have been taken to address this issue by the sport’s various governing bodies. It is an important issue.
“Improved testing, coupled with transparency and continued dialogue regarding the policy and process (of drug testing), is crucial. In this regard, I have decided to publish a full list of anti-doping tests that have been conducted on me since I became a professional in 2007.”
The 34-year-old sensation, still undefeated in all forms of Ironman, hopes her example will prompt other professional athletes to publish their own drug testing records.
“This is a small step that I feel will help to uphold triathlon’s integrity and reputation. It will ensure that the competition is fair and provide proof that athletes can achieve great things without the need to cheat.”
Wellington, who was drug tested 16 times last year, is now gearing up for her first Ironman in South Africa, on April 10 – an event she intends to use as a stepping stone towards her fourth stint at the Hawaii-based World Championships, in October.
Wellington has lowered the Ironman-distance world record by more than 31 minutes – to eight hours, 19 minutes and 13 seconds – a record which had stood from 1994 to 2008.
Wellington, nicknamed the Chrissinator, is one of only three women to have achieved three consecutive victories at the Ironman World Championships, following in the footsteps of Natascha Badmann and Paula Newby-Fraser. She won the World Championship less than a year after turning professional.
Ironman triathlon consists of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike race and marathon, raced in that order without a break.