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Drug Testing Policy and Protocols

The Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run (WSER) has a zero-tolerance policy regarding the use of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). Any athlete who has been determined to have violated anti-doping rules or policies, whether enforced by World Athletics (WA), the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) or any other national sports federation is ineligible for entry into the WSER.

WSER reserves the right to conduct post-competition testing for any and all performance-enhancing drugs listed on the current WADA Prohibited List. Any athlete selected for drug testing who refuses to submit to testing shall be disqualified and subject to a lifetime ban from the WSER. All final determinations regarding anti-doping violations under this policy shall be made by WSER.

For the purposes of this document, “performance-enhancing drugs” are those listed on the current WADA Prohibited List. All runners are encouraged to check the WADA website (www.wada-ama.org) for the most current list of banned substances. Drugs prescribed by a physician to treat specific medical conditions are excluded unless it is determined that a prescribed medication is being used for non-medical purposes (see “Appeal Process” for more information). For more information on prohibited substances, including whether specific medications are on the WADA Prohibited List, check the Global Drug Reference Online (Global DRO) website at www.globaldro.com/Home. See Supplement Connect for information on dietary supplements, including USADA’s list of high risk dietary supplement products.

All final determinations regarding anti-doping violations under this policy shall be made by WSER.


The purpose of drug testing controls at Western States is to:

  • Deter the use of performance-enhancing drugs in competition;
  • Identify any participant who may be using performance-enhancing drugs;
  • Educate all participants about the health risks and unfair advantages created through the use of performance-enhancing drugs;
  • Promote a drug-free sport.


The following acts constitute a violation of the WSER Anti-Doping Policy. WSER shall have the sole authority to make any determination regarding an anti-doping violation under this policy.

  • The presence of a performance-enhancing drug in an athlete’s urine sample (after any appeals if applicable), based on WADA’s most current banned substance list;
  • Refusing, evading, or failing to comply with the WSER drug testing protocols;
  • Tampering or attempted tampering or manipulation of a sample or any other part of the WSER drug testing program.


Drug testing will be conducted by an independent third-party drug testing administrator (“independent administrator”) to ensure the integrity of the collection, processing, packaging, and evaluation of the specimen. The independent administrator will ensure that all drug collection and testing is done in accordance with WADA rules and regulations.

Urine samples will be collected under direct observation of the independent administrator and tested for WADA’s list of banned substances in accordance with WADA’s International Standard for Testing and Investigations (ISTI). For more information on WADA, ISTI, and drug testing rules and protocol, runners can check the WADA website (www.wada-ama.org).

Each runner will be required to submit sufficient specimen to create two samples for testing (Sample “A” and Sample “B”). All urine samples actually provided by the runner may be tested.

The independent administrator shall report all test results to the Run Director, who is authorized to share the results with the WSER Board of Directors as set forth in this Policy.

If the failure to provide a urine sample occurs under circumstances that amount to a refusal to provide adequate samples, the failure will be treated as a positive test result for a performance-enhancing drug.

The independent administrator shall hold and maintain all information regarding drug testing performed at the request of WSER in the strictest confidence for the sole and exclusive benefit of WSER in accordance with the terms of their agreement and this policy.


All individuals who are on the final start list for Western States are subject to drug testing. The Board of Directors, in its sole discretion, will determine which runners will be tested. While WSER reserves the right to select any runner for testing, the goal will be to test from the elite men and women’s finishers field, including top age group competitors.


Drug testing will be conducted immediately following competition at the finish line at the Placer High School track. Runners selected for testing will be notified by a WSER official when they finish the race.

As soon as a runner has been notified that they have been selected for drug testing, they become subject to the supervision of the independent administrator or a WSER race official. Runners will be taken to a secure and private testing location to provide an acceptable sample in accordance with the independent administrator protocols.

At the time of notification, the runner will be informed of his or her rights and responsibilities during the sample collection process. Under certain limited circumstances, a runner may request and be given permission from the Run Director for a delay in reporting for testing, which could include participation in the awards ceremony or media interviews.

Throughout the testing process (including any agreement to delay), the runner will remain under continuous watch and supervision of a WSER official or a representative of the independent administrator. The independent administrator’s representatives must identify themselves to runners being tested as a collector and, if asked, will provide identification before a sample can be collected.

Hospitalization or a sudden medical emergency at the finish line or elsewhere does not relieve a notified runner from his or her obligation to participate in drug testing and provide a sample if possible. Cases involving a medical emergency will be handled on a case-by-case basis to balance the runner’s health and well-being which is paramount with the right to complete the drug testing. Whenever possible, the certified drug test official or a WSER official will be allowed to remain with the runner to oversee that drug testing protocols are followed.

In addition to the Drug Test Consent signed by all runners when they register for the race, other information and paperwork regarding sample collection, medical history, current medications, or other information may be required by the independent administrator officials or WSER at the time of drug testing. Once the runner has provided the samples as required and completed all paperwork as requested, the runner will have completed the drug testing and will no longer be under the supervision of the independent administrator.


If the independent administrator finds that a runner’s Sample A tests positive for a performance-enhancing drug (banned substance), it will report the finding to the Run Director. The Run Director will notify the WSER board of directors. The Run Director will also provide written notice to the runner that he or she tested positive for a banned substance.

The runner can accept the Sample A positive finding or request that Sample B be tested.

If the runner’s Sample B results are negative, the drug test will be considered negative and no further action will be taken on the matter. If the Sample B test results are positive for a banned substance, the runner can accept the positive drug test finding or appeal on the grounds set forth below.

Any runner who wants to appeal a positive drug test must notify WSER within five (5) days after receiving notice of the positive test result. The runner can email or mail the Run Director stating his or her intent to appeal and the Run Director will confirm in writing that the notice of appeal was received.

All appeals shall be heard by the WSER board of directors, with the assistance of medical experts as deemed necessary or appropriate. The runner must support his or her claim with clear and convincing evidence.

The WSER board of directors’ determination after appeal as to whether an anti-doping violation occurred shall be final. The board shall deliver its decision by certified mail to the runner.

If the runner takes no action after notification of a positive drug test result, WSER can make its final determination that an anti-doping violation occurred after the five (5) day appeal period has expired.

Legitimate medical use

WSER recognizes that some banned substances are used for legitimate medical purposes. Accordingly, WSER allows exception to be made for runners with a documented medical history demonstrating the need for treatment with a banned medication.

Any runner who wants to appeal a positive test result on the grounds of legitimate medical use will be asked to provide documentation showing that the drug was prescribed by a physician to treat a specific medical condition. The runner may be asked for additional documentation, such as a letter from the prescribing physician that documents the runner’s medical history demonstrating the need for regular use of the drug.

“No Fault” Appeals

Any runner who tests positive for a banned substance may appeal on the grounds that he or she had “no fault” for the doping violation (i.e., he or she did not know and could not reasonably have discovered or suspected that he or she was administered or took a banned substance).


A final determination by the Western States Board of Directors that a runner has violated its anti-doping policies will result in a lifetime ban from the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run. The person’s name and finishing time will be removed from all official results of that year’s WSER run.  Any awards presented by the run organizers to the runner, including a finisher’s belt buckle, shall be returned.


WSER reserves the right to publish or release the name of any runner who has been found to have committed a doping offense. WSER shall not publicly disclose or release any information regarding a runner’s drug test results, except in cases where a final determination has been made that a runner committed a doping violation. WSER will have no public comment on the drug test findings of runners who are found not to be in violation of the WSER drug policy.