For years, obstacle course racers and mud runners have longingly joked about the fact that each waiver is essentially a Death Waiver, stating you could get hurt, injured or even die while participating in these events. For years, the wording of these waivers have helped to create the badass mystique around the industry. However, most don't read the whole waiver and instead just sign away on race morning to pick up their bib and move onto the start line.
How often do you read all the details in those waivers we all sign daily. Do you read all the terms and conditions before checking agree? Do you actually read the waiver line by line? For those looking to race competitively and for money in the Spartan Race series this year, you are going to want to pay attention to section 11. Most probably have glossed over this section on race morning. However, for those looking to find their way onto the podium this year, you might want to read closely and carry your medical releases and records.
Section 11 states:
(11) FOR ELITE AND OTHER PARTICIPANTS COMPETING FOR CASH PRIZES ONLY: I voluntarily consent to have a sample of my urine collected at such times as testing is performed by Spartan or its agents.
I further understand that certain prescription and/or over-the-counter drugs that I may be taking can affect the results of these tests and that I will inform Spartan prior to testing of any prescription and/or over-the-counter drugs that I am taking.
I further authorize the release of all information and records, including test results relating to the screening or testing of my urine sample(s) to Spartan or its agents.
Spartan and its officers, employees, and agents are hereby released from legal responsibility or liability in connection with any testing and for the release of such information and records as authorized by this Waiver. Initial
Spartan Race has added in this additional section in this year's waivers. This clause is new to the regular season Spartan Race waiver is not new to the industry as a whole. For years, World's Toughest Mudder has had a clause about drug testing, to date no testing results have been released.
Spartan Race also has had a drug testing clause in their World Championship waiver, however according to accounts; these tests have not been verified by an official body such as WADA – World Anti-Doping Agency to date. The only race company currently testing and having results verified by WADA is the OCR World Championships in 2014 & 2015.
It is common knowledge for the last year Spartan Race has taken steps towards the Olympics; this new clause could be the latest step towards this goal. We spoke with Joe DiStefano of Spartan Race about the new drug testing provision in the waivers he said that Spartan Race “working in collaboration with the IORF. More information to come but can say this year's waiver and pro contracts will both include a clause about the probably of drug testing and require competing athletes to abide by standards should they be enforced.”
It is evident as the obstacle course racing industry continues to mature into an established and internationally recognized sport drug testing is the next step in the process. One thing is for sure those looking to find a spot on the podium at a Spartan Race this year should become familiar with the list of banned substances from WADA. For the rest of us, time to make sure we are all reading those waivers a little more carefully to be confident that we all know what we are signing.