By Ashley Lauretta

This morning, IRONMAN and the International Triathlon Union (ITU) signed an agreement (pictured in the photo above) to work together to develop and grow triathlon around the world.

The signed document—a Memorandum of Understanding—”focused on standardized rules, further collaboration of anti-doping efforts, national federation relations, sanctioning, a single-set of rules, and collaborative marketing initiatives to grow the sport at the age-group level,” shared to a release about the historic partnership.

Additionally, this agreement means that ITU will be sanctioning select IRONMAN events as international events—and that there will be a single set of ITU competition rules developed for long-distance triathlon (with an expected completion date of 2018).

“Our collaboration with the ITU is of considerable importance for the prolonged and continuous growth of triathlon,” says IRONMAN President and CEO Andrew Messick. “We share a common goal, have worked well together in recent years, and have developed trust in the ITU leadership group. I believe that the productive conversations that led to this milestone are pivotal for the continued progression of triathlon.”