Blood Testing To Substantially Increase Ahead of London 2012

September 19, 2011

A new directive by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has meant Athletes will face an increased volume of blood-tests leading up to to London 2012.

Meeting at the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Lausanne, the WADA Executive Committee accepted a recommendation that all anti-doping organisations ensure that not less than 10 per cent of samples collected are blood specimens.

Only four percent of all doping control samples collected in 2010 were for blood, mostly for passport programmes.

WADA said this had been a “key concern”, since “an anti-doping organisation ought to collect blood as it cannot claim to have an effective programme in place if there is a loophole in its testing programme leaving for possible abuse of substances and methods that cannot be detected in urine analysis such as human growth hormone and blood transfusions”.

It said the new 10 per cent directive would have a “significant deterrence benefit, regardless of the particular risks associated with the anti-doping organisations’ sports”.

Blood samples were collected from every accredited athlete at the recent World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, in an exercise hailed as a “fantastic milestone” by Lamine Diack, the International Association of Athletics Federations President.

The samples are to be used to help build Athlete Biological Passports, allowing experts to register and chart physiological markers over time. WADA also approved the list of prohibited substances and methods for the Summer Olympic year of 2012.

One of the most significant changes was said to be the removal of asthma drug formoterol from ‘Section 3 Beta-2 Agonists’ of the list when taken by inhalation at therapeutic doses.

Inhaled formoterol at therapeutic doses is no longer prohibited. The list prohibits the administration of all beta-2 agonists except salbutamol (maximum 1600 micrograms over 24 hours), salmeterol when taken by inhalation, and now formoterol (maximum 36 micrograms taken over 24 hours).

The new list will be made official and published by October 1 and will take effect on January 1, 2012.