In the world of marathon running, the elephant in the room has always been doping. It's an issue that everyone thinks about, but few openly discuss. This silence, however, is not helping our sport progress in the right direction. To address the elephant, we must first become better-informed about the issue.

This month, Kenyan Kelvin Kiptum shattered the men's marathon world record in Chicago, crossing the finish line in just two hours and 35 seconds. It was an astounding feat, one that garnered much-deserved attention. However, the next runner, Benson Kipruto, also from Kenya and last year's winner, ran a personal best at 2:04:02, nearly a whole three minutes behind Kiptum. Yet, it's interesting how little this remarkable achievement was discussed. And that's just one piece of the puzzle.

Marathon running, a sport known for its endurance and human spirit, has its own history with the specter of doping. Between 1998 and 2012, one third of the top ten finishers at the Tour de France tested positive for or admitted to doping, and many believe that there were more involved but never caught. These revelations have shaken the foundations of cycling, prompting profound questions about integrity. As we ponder the excellence on display in marathoning today, it's only reasonable to question whether it remains untarnished by similar issues.

The fight against doping in sports is led by organizations such as the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF), and The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU). These agencies are committed to guarding against any form of integrity breaches in athletics, from doping to betting, bribery, and corruption. Their vigilance is essential to maintaining the credibility and fairness of the sport.

Understanding the intricacies of anti-doping measures is crucial to hold athletes, coaches, and organizations accountable. It's vital to ensure that our beloved sport remains a testament to human capability and resilience, untarnished by unfair advantages.

We must know how doping works in marathoning to discuss it openly, objectively, and constructively. The marathon community, together with sports enthusiasts, must come together to grapple with this topic and demand transparency, fairness, and integrity in the sport we hold dear. The elephant in the room must be confronted, not ignored, to preserve the true essence of marathon running and to keep its spirit pure.

In the face of this daunting issue, it's only natural to wonder how we can better understand and address the problem of doping in marathon running. The solution, in part, lies in knowledge and informed discussion.

To get a comprehensive grasp of the situation, our upcoming podcast episode with Dr. Laura Lewis, the Director of Science at the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), is of paramount importance. Dr. Lewis brings a wealth of expertise to the table, having dedicated her career to unraveling the complexities of anti-doping measures. Her insights will provide you with a deeper understanding of how the system works, what methods are employed, and how athletes are tested.

This episode serves as an opportunity for our community to become better-informed, to ask the critical questions, and to engage in the dialogue surrounding doping in marathon running. With knowledge as our foundation, we can collectively advocate for the transparency, fairness, and integrity of the sport.