*  Respect for the
environment

Races take place in fragile natural environments. All players involved with trail-running races, runners, organisers, partners, accompanying persons make a commitment to protect the natural equilibrium.

Organisers of trail-running races must do all they can to reduce the negative impact linked to the running of their races. They make a commitment by sharing information and making efforts to educate in order to contribute to the general awareness of the natural environment’s fragility.
Each organiser will identify the environmental risks engendered by their event and propose concrete actions to reduce the risks to the minimum. They will encourage the use of public transport or car-sharing and limit, as much as they can, the use of other motorised equipment.
Each runner makes a commitment to adopt the most relevant behaviour to minimize his or her impact on the terrain through which he or she passes.

Together, the members of the trail-running community act as ambassadors for the promotion and conservation of natural environments.

Health and Ethics

Developing and promoting trail-running and its ethics in a healthy way, this is the mission of ITRA!

Since we are all concerned, ITRA offers a voluntary and community-based approach, transparent and free of any financial interest to contribute to a clean sport practice and to protect runners’ health.

 

A shared philosophy: a drug-free sport

Our philosophy is to ban the use of any medication during competitions that could affect health and/or improve performance.

The observation

  • Many medications improve trail-running performance (we talk about Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs)) and not all of them are on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) prohibited list.
  • Anti-doping regulations allow a sick athlete to use products which are normally on the WADA prohibited list, if he/she has a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE). But the massive use of TUEs, particularly at major international competitions, shows that TUEs are also used as a backdoor means of accessing performance-enhancing drugs.
  • Self-medication can be very dangerous while practicing trail-running where effort is intense and often takes place in extreme conditions. For instance, the consumption of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) while running can lead to acute renal failure, but also to other digestive or musculoskeletal complications.

An easy and effective solution

ITRA suggests that runners voluntarily renounce, during competitions, the use of medication that may "harm" health and/or improve performance, and more particularly PEDs and medication requiring a TUE. If a sick athlete must use such drugs to treat him/her-self, he/she then renounces all competition for the duration of his/her treatment (except for chronic diseases).

To ensure that this commitment has a real and undeniable value, athletes agree, always on a voluntary basis, to undergo biological monitoring and regular medical checks: the QUARTZ program.

 

The QUARTZ program: a unique and innovative monitoring

In order to implement concretely this philosophy, ITRA chose a management tool since 2015, facilitating measurement and verification: the QUARTZ program.

The ITRA QUARTZ program was developed in collaboration with the association Athletes For Transparency (AFT) which provides legal, scientific and technical expertise, and the Ultra Sports Science (USS) endowment fund which supports QUARTZ funding. To meet everyone's needs, the QUARTZ program offers three services:

  • QUARTZ Elite
  • QUARTZ Regular
  • QUARTZ Event

 

QUARTZ Elite

QUARTZ Elite provides athletes with an annual health monitoring, carried out remotely. ITRA encourages the world's best runners to join this program. Their participation is on a voluntary basis.
Each year, ITRA offers the QUARTZ Elite program to the best athletes worldwide (according to the ITRA General Performance Index) and to athletes who have been suspended following a positive doping control.

In 2019, 70 runners benefit from the QUARTZ Elite program for free! 
ITRA makes this possible thanks to donations received by sport brands for which athletes’ health and integrity are a priority!
In 2019, there are three of them: Asics, Columbia and The North Face.
For all other runners who wish to join QUARTZ Elite, a fee is required.

A remote health monitoring is possible thanks to an online health space, accessible via an ITRA account (free of charge). All data provided by the runner are confidential and only shared with doctors and certified experts of the ITRA Health Commission.

However, each runner who wishes to be part of a totally transparent process, can make his/her health information public (have a look to the public QUARTZ Elite’s health spaces by clicking here).

Several biological analyses are requested to the runners throughout the year. The results are then reviewed by the ITRA Health Commission.

  • A « normal » profile means that everything is fine!
  • A profile « with potential disease » means that biological values are characteristic of a potential disease. Additional analyses may be required.
  • An « atypical » profile means that biological values are outside laboratory standards. This is not a problem, but knowledge of medical history is essential to check whether this is normal or not. Further analyses are required.
  • An « abnormal » profile means that biological values are outside laboratory standards and/or inconsistent with previous test results. Additional analyses may be required as well as anti-doping control. The profile can be reported to the National Anti-Doping Organizations (NADOs).

 


QUARTZ Regular

QUARTZ Regular is an online medical record called "Health space", private and free of charge.
All runners are invited to create and fill in their health space accessible via their ITRA account. The health space allows you to fill in a lot of essential information and to keep a record of any health problems encountered.
This information can be very useful if a medical problem occurs during a race, it allows the medical teams of the QUARTZ Event program’s races to provide you with the most appropriate care. You can also save any documents such as your latest medical examinations or your medical certificate (if required by the race organization). No more loose sheets!

 

QUARTZ Event

Quartz Event is intended to race organizers who wish to adopt a clean and drug-free sport practice philosophy and to protect their runners’ health.
Three implementation levels exist according to the human, organizational and financial means of each event:

  • QUARTZ Event Original
  • QUARTZ Event Level 1
  • QUARTZ Event Level 2

QUARTZ Event Original is the baseline!
It allows to improve and ensure all runners’ medical care during competition. It means that, during the event, the medical team can access to the participants' health spaces if necessary, in order to treat them better. Each runner can access to his/her health space thanks to an ITRA personal account...!

QUARTZ Event Level 1 and Level 2 include, in addition to QUARTZ Event Original, analyses to be carried out for a selection of athletes attending the race. These analyses are a verification tool that ensures the accepted race regulations are respected by runners. They are also a monitoring tool that screens the runners’ health and alerts them in case of a medical problem.

  • With QUARTZ Event Level 1, analyses are carried out by the runner 30 days before the start of the race.
  • With QUARTZ Event Level 2, analyses are also carried out on site within 5 days before the competition, in addition to those carried out 30 days before.

All the results of analyses are reviewed by the ITRA Health Commission and classified according to the same 4 profile categories described above under the heading « QUARTZ Elite ».
In case of profiles with « potential disease » or « atypical » and, depending on the values observed, the ITRA Health Commission and the Race Medical Director may advise a runner not to start the race.
In the event of an « abnormal » profile: a « no start rule» may be delivered by the race organization on the advice of the ITRA Health Commission and the Race Medical Director.

All these measures are legally possible thanks to a specific article embedded in the race regulations, that each runner agrees to respect.

The cost of setting up QUARTZ Event on a trail-running competition depends on many things, it is therefore better to contact ITRA to evaluate the budget to assign. There are many financing solutions, especially through the sale of "health bibs" that can fully cover the services implemented on QUARTZ Event races.