Of all the high-performing athletes of the last year, a runner was the most-tested of the U.S. pool of talent in 2017.
Galen Rupp, the 2017 Chicago Marathon champion and 2017 Boston Marathon runner-up, was tested 16 times in the past 12 months, according to data released by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. That’s more than any other American athlete. New York City Marathon champion Shalane Flanagan and Ajeé Wilson were the most-visited among female runners during 2017, for a total of 12 times each.
Anti-doping officials perform both in- and out-of competition tests in an effort to crack down on the use of performance-enhancing substances in athletics. Out-of-competition tests are performed at random. Flanagan and Rupp have never failed a drug test; Wilson tested positive for zeranol in 2017 and was stripped of her American indoor 800m record. She was not suspended as the substance was found to have entered her system through contaminated beef.
For comparison’s sake, Rupp was tested 21 times in 2015 while Flanagan was tested on 17 occasions that year. Blood or urine samples are taken during anti-doping officials’ visits.
The numbers published by USADA are not the complete statistics as the IAAF, the world governing body for athletics, also tests athletes. “This search will not yield results conducted on U.S. athletes by other testing entities, if the test session was not requested or initiated by USADA,” the agency says.
World steeplechase champion, Emma Coburn, published statistics that would not otherwise be publicly available tweeting out her year’s testing.
— emma coburn (@emmajcoburn) January 1, 2018
The Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sports (CCES) administers drug testing in Canada. CCES do not publish athlete-specific testing data like USADA but do reveal that 243 in- and out-of competitions tests were administered in athletics between April 1, 2016 and March 31, 2017.