Anti-Doping Agency Keen to Recruit Pharmaceutical Companies to Prevent Cheating at London 2012

July 20, 2011

The World Anti-Doping Agency, ask which is the international body that oversees drug programs in sports, is negotiating with “many” pharmaceutical companies to share information in an effort to prevent cheating before the London 2012 Olympic Games, its president has said.

John Fahey, president of the Montreal-based agency, said that this move would allow WADA scientists to embed with company researchers during product development, and that the goal is to find and highlight drugs that athletes may use to improperly improve their performance.

He said: “We’re starting to get some momentum in the process. This allows us to access the key information years before the drugs are commercialised.”

GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK), the U.K.’s biggest drugmaker, said this month it would help WADA find ways to detect drugs with “performance-enhancing potential” by giving the agency confidential information about its early-stage medicines that could be abused by athletes.

Roche Holding AG (ROG), whose anemia drug Mircera sold US$311 million last year and was allegedly used by cyclist Riccardo Ricco during the 2008 Tour de France, is also collaborating with WADA.

“The key is to get with individual companies,” Fahey said. “They’re more than willing to cooperate and to enable us to get into the pipeline early.”