TAMPA, Fla. (Jan. 31, 2017) – IRONMAN, a Wanda Sports Holding company, and the International Triathlon Union (ITU) announced today that they have agreed to a historic cooperation framework to further develop and grow triathlon. After a week of meetings at IRONMAN headquarters in Tampa, Florida, senior leaders from both organizations, including ITU President and IOC Member Marisol Casado and IRONMAN President and CEO Andrew Messick, agreed on a historic growth framework that is the culmination of several years of work together.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by both parties citing key priorities and next steps to ensure the growth and harmonization of the sport. In particular, the MOU focused on standardized rules, further collaboration on anti-doping efforts, national federation relations, sanctioning, a single-set of rules, and collaborative marketing initiatives to grow the sport at the age-group level.
“Our collaboration with the ITU is of considerable importance for the prolonged and continuous growth of triathlon,” said Messick. “We share a common goal, have worked well together in recent years, and have developed trust in the ITU leadership group. I believe that the productive conversations that led to this milestone are pivotal for the continued progression of triathlon.”
“The best way to grow triathlon, and improve the sport at all levels, is to do so together,” said Casado. “Continuing strong collaboration with IRONMAN will serve to further evolve triathlon across the world. I look forward to many more fruitful meetings, and creating the best possible environments for athletes, following this cornerstone moment.”
Among the key priorities the ITU and IRONMAN have agreed to, are the following:
- Harmonizing anti-doping efforts to continue to protect clean athletes and the integrity of the sport
- Working towards ITU being recognized as the singular international federation leading the sport of triathlon
- The ITU sanctioning select IRONMAN® events as international events
- The ITU leading coordination and communication with its member National Federations to implement standardized rules and reinforce the ITU’s “Clean, Fair & Safe” mandate
- IRONMAN will leverage ITU resources in certain ethics-related matters, including technological fraud, code of conduct, manipulating of sport competition, etc.
- Working towards a single set of rules (ITU Competition Rules) for long-distance triathlon beginning in 2018
- Developing an athlete-focused edition of those rules with specific distance categories
- Alignment of efforts to foster the growth and development of the sport specifically focused on safety, first-time athletes, development of women in the sport, and education
For more information on the ITU, visit www.triathlon.org.
A Wanda Sports Holdings company, IRONMAN operates a global portfolio of events that includes the IRONMAN® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® 70.3® Triathlon Series, 5150™ Triathlon Series, Iron Girl®, IRONKIDS®, six of nine International Triathlon Union World Triathlon Series races, road cycling events including the UCI Velothon Majors Series, mountain bike races, premier marathons and other multisport races. IRONMAN’s events, together with all other Wanda Sports Holdings events, provide more than 680,000 participants annually the benefits of endurance sports through the company’s vast offerings. The iconic IRONMAN® Series of events is the largest participation sports platform in the world. Since the inception of the IRONMAN® brand in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines at the world’s most challenging endurance races. Beginning as a single race, IRONMAN has grown to become a global sensation with more than 260 events across 44 countries. For more information, visit www.ironman.com.
About Wanda Sports Holding
Wanda Sports Holding is the world’s leading sports business entity, founded to capture the opportunities in the global sports industry and to contribute to the prosperous international sports landscape – in three key areas: 1) Spectator Sports (media & marketing business), 2) Participation Sports (active lifestyle business), 3) Services (digital, production and service business). Wanda Sports Holding incorporates the international sports marketing company Infront Sports & Media, the iconic endurance brand IRONMAN, and Wanda Sports China. The headquarters are in Guangzhou, China.
The International Triathlon Union is the world governing body for the Olympic sport of Triathlon and all related MultiSport disciplines including Duathlon, Aquathlon, Cross Triathlon and Winter Triathlon. ITU was founded in 1989 at the first ITU Congress in Avignon, France. It has its headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland and maintains offices in Vancouver, Canada and Madrid, Spain. It now has over 165 affiliated National Federations on all five continents. Triathlon was awarded Olympic Games status in 1994 and made its Olympic debut in Sydney 2000. Triathlon is also featured in the Asian Games, Pan American Games and Commonwealth Games. Paratriathlon was accepted into the Paralympic Games in 2010 and will make its Paralympic debut in Rio 2016. ITU is proudly committed to supporting the development of the sport worldwide through strong relationships with continental and national federations, working with its partners to offer a balanced sport development programme from grassroots to a high-performance level. For more information, visit: www.triathlon.org.