| LONDON, March 15
LONDON, March 15 Experts believe up to 100
undetectable performance-enhancing drugs similar to the banned
blood booster erythropoietin (EPO) have been designed, German
doping specialist Mario Thevis said on Thursday.
Thevis, who is based at the German Sports University in
Cologne, told the Tackling Doping in Sport 2012 conference in
London, presented by the worldsportslawreport, that the list of
"80, 90, 100" new drugs similar to EPO was not exhaustive.
"They act like EPO but they are structurally different and
that means the current EPO tests will not pick them up," he
"Fortunately we know about that problem and we have to
develop new tests to help to find these drugs that, according to
anecdotal evidence and rumours, are already used in elite sports
although they are not officially launched yet.
"You cannot go to a pharmacy to buy these drugs. You might
have (to have) good connections to get hold of those.
"It is quite difficult to develop tests when you don't have
an idea what the molecule really looks like. If you don't know
what the molecule looks like it's almost impossible to have a
EPO, which increases the number of red blood cells, has been
used mostly by endurance athletes such as middle and
long-distance runners and cyclists. A blood and urine doping
test was introduced for the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
Anna Baoutina, a senior research scientist at the National
Measurement Institute in Sydney, told the conference tests had
been developed for detecting gene doping, defined by the World
Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) as the use of cells, genes or genetic
elements to improve athletic performance.
"The major advantage of gene doping is that it's very
difficult to detect compared to drug doping," she said. "The
doping gene is very similar to the natural cells which are found
in any body."
Baoutina told reporters later no test would be in place
before this year's London Olympics.
"We are developing methods to fight it," she said. "But we
have yet to see the implementation of these methods. WADA has to
decide when these methods should be implemented."
(Editing by Ken Ferris)
Please double click on the newslink below:
for more doping stories