The world's elite marathon runners will soon be subject to an enhanced anti-doping programme following a deal to be announced between the World Marathon Majors (WMM) and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).
The WMM deal - which organises races in Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York City - will supplement blood testing at major races with follow-up, out-of-competition tests.
Part of the work will be done at the long-awaited blood testing laboratory in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, which the IAAF's anti-doping senior manager, Thomas Capdevielle, hopes will be open "within two to three months".
The marathon has garnered unwelcome publicity in recent months through high profile bans for Russia's Liliya Shobukhova, the second fastest woman in history, and Kenya's Rita Jeptoo, a three-time winner of the Boston Marathon.
Capdevielle explained that the new deal would supplement the current agreement to conduct Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) blood-testing at all WMM events, plus the Tokyo Marathon.
"Basically WMM offered a contribution to our programme in order to implement an enhanced testing programme, like a sub-programme for the marathon runners," he said.
"Systematic ABP testing at races on all the elite field will continue as it has done in the past two years, but there will also be follow-up urine tests out of competition at training venues around the world.
"This will give us more resources to form a sub-group of testing involving elite marathon runners, a group of let us say 100-150 elite runners in the world.
"Also, significant achievements will also be made in testing for the marathon through our laboratory in Kenya.
"It's a priority project for us."
The laboratory in Kenya will cover the whole of East Africa.
"We are looking at setting up a blood analyser to enable us to conduct ABP testing not just on Kenyan athletes but also athletes from Ethiopia, Uganda and Tanzania," said Capdevielle.
"We hope to be able to achieve this in the next two or three months.
"So far, since we introduced the ABP in 2009 we have sanctioned 42 athletes, which is more than any other international anti-doping organisation."
More than half of those sanctioned have been Russian.
Jeptoo - who in the past two years has achieved the Chicago/Boston double - was one of 35 Kenyan athletes suspended over the past two years for taking banned drugs.
Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]
January 2015: Jeptoo to miss Rio 2016 after receiving two-year doping ban
January 2015: Athletics Kenya President claims doping scandals "as bad as AIDS"
December 2014: Jeptoo set to be stripped of World Marathon Majors title after B-sample confirms EPO use
November 2014: Jeptoo requests B-sample as Athletics Kenya confirms provisional suspension
October 2014: World Marathon Majors postpones award ceremony after Kenyan Rita Jeptoo tests positive for EPO