The International Triathlon Union (ITU) is the sole governing body, responsible for the Competition Rules for Triathlon, Duathlon and its other related multisports, has released the 2019 Competition rules.

The ITU Competition Rules specify the conduct and behaviour of athletes during ITU, Triathlon Canada and Triathlon BC competitions. Where the ITU Competition Rules do not specify, the rules of International Swimming Federation (FINA) , International Cycling Union (UCI) , International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) , International Ski Federation (FIS) , IPC Swimming , IPC Athletics and IPC Nordic Skiing will apply in their specific segments , unless ITU Technical Committee decides otherwise.

Under the ITU Rules, General Conduct of a participants is listed below.

General Conduct:

a.) Triathlon and ITU’s other related multisports involve many athletes. Competition tactics are part of the interaction between athletes. Athletes will:

(i) Practice good sportsmanship at all times;

(ii) Be responsible for their own safety and the safety of others;

(iii) Know, understand and follow the ITU Competition Rules, available from their National Federations and on;

(iv) Obey traffic regulations and instructions from race officials;

(v) Treat other athletes, race officials, volunteers, and spectators with respect and courtesy;

(vi) Avoid the use of abusive language;

(vii) Inform a Technical Official after withdrawing from the competition. Failing to do this may result in a suspension;

(viii) Compete without receiving assistance other than from event personnel and race officials;

(ix) Avoid using ambush marketing;

(x) Avoid displaying any kind of demonstration of political, religious or racial propaganda;

(xi) Not dispose of rubbish or equipment around the course except at clearly identified places, such as aid stations or rubbish disposal points. All items must be kept with the athlete and returned to their transition spot;

(xii) Not attempt to gain an unfair advantage from any external vehicle or object;

(xiii) Follow the prescribed course;

(xiv) Not use any device that will distract the athlete from paying full attention to their surroundings:

  • Athletes may not use communication devices of any type, including but not limited to cell phones, smart watches, and twoway radios, in any distractive manner during the competition. A “distractive manner” includes but is not limited to making or receiving phone calls, sending or receiving text messages, playing music, using social media, taking photographs or using in a one or two way radio communication. Using any communication device in this manner during the competition will result in disqualification;
  • Cameras, phone cameras, and video cameras are prohibited unless permission is given by the ITU or the license holder of the event. If such permission is given, it is the athlete’s responsibility to notify the Head Referee of such permission prior to the start of the competition. Athletes seen with an unauthorized camera, phone camera, or video camera will be disqualified.

Outside assistance:

a.) The assistance provided by event personnel or Technical Officials is allowed but is limited to providing drinks, nutrition, mechanical and medical assistance, upon the approval of the Technical Delegate or Head Referee. Athletes competing in the same competition may assist each other with incidental items such as, but not restricted to, nutrition and drinks after an aid station, pumps, tubular tyres, inner tubes and puncture repair kits;

b.) Athletes may not provide any item of equipment to an athlete competing in the same competition which results in the donor athlete being unable to continue with their own competition. This includes but is not restricted to complete bicycle, frame, wheels and helmet. The penalty for this will be disqualification of both athletes.

c.) An athlete cannot physically assist the forward progress of another athlete on any part of the course. This will result in both athletes being disqualified.

Drug Abuse:

a.) Athletes and guides will follow the ITU Anti-Doping Rules;

b.) All athletes and guides are responsible for familiarising themselves with the ITU Anti-Doping Rules including medical and doping control tests, testing obligations, rights, responsibilities and procedures, penalties and appeal processes, and prohibited substances and methods;

c.) ITU has implemented the ITU Anti-Doping Rules and abides by rules set by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code.


a.) Triathlons and ITU’s other related multisports are strenuous. To be able to compete, athletes should be in excellent physical condition. Their health and welfare is of paramount importance. By starting in a competition, the athletes declare they are in good health and are in appropriate physical condition to complete the competition;

b.) Time limits for the swim leg, bike leg and overall finish time may be established for each competition by the ITU Technical Delegate. These limits must be published in the pre-event registration material;

c.) ITU encourages all the athletes to undergo a periodic health evaluation (PHE) and to undergo a pre-participation evaluation (PPE) prior to engaging in competitive sport. An annual PPE is mandatory for all athletes competing in Youth, Junior, U23, Elite and Paratriathlon events from January 1st, 2018 in any ITU event as outlined in Appendix J. More information about PPE can be found in Appendix Q.

The ITU Competition Rules may be changed from time to time by the ITU Technical  Committee at its discretion, with the approval of the ITU Executive Board. Any rule  change(s) shall be advised in writing to  affiliated National  Federation s at least 30 days  before it /they is /are to take effect. Updated ITU Competition Rules will be posted on the ITU website (

Athletes must be familiar with the rules of competition prior to participation. Please click HERE to review the current ITU Competition Rules, as of February 7, 2019.