NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A prominent road-racing group will begin randomly testing top finishers for performance-enhancing drugs in a number of races it sponsors beginning next year.

New York Road Runners puts on about 50 races each year, and has long conducted doping tests in races that draw professionals, including the New York City Marathon.

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Monday’s announcement about testing in lower-profile races comes about six months after an Associated Press investigation detailed the lengths some sub-elite runners go to in order to win modest purses in races that don’t regularly conduct anti-doping tests.

Since that story, several other small races have also begun to review policies about who can win prize money.

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In addition to the increased testing, NYRR will partner with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency to add educational sessions about anti-doping.

“Competition is a core tenet of New York Road Runners’ mission to help and inspire people through running,” Peter Ciaccia, the group’s president of events and race director, said in a news release. “To compete fairly, with respect for yourself and others, and to run clean is where it all starts. Together with our athletes and partners, we share a collective responsibility to do all we can to ensure a clean sport. We need to communicate better, educate more, and keep working on testing and results management.”

The Road Runners, whose other races include the NYC Half, NYRR New York Mini 10K and 5th Avenue Mile, said it will start randomly testing top finishers at selected weekly races throughout the year.

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