Home > Other Fun Stuff > Uncategorized

Cycling Doping Update from Bike Pure

Support us! Bikerumor may earn a small commission from affiliate links in this article. Learn More

From Andy at BikePure.org:

The World Anti Doping Agency have released details of plans to re-test old EPO samples. According to Olivier Rabin, WADA’s science director, WADA will use revised methods of detecting EPO. Dopers who thought they had slipped through the net could well be in for some surprises as the methods for testing become more advanced and WADA close in on the cheats.

Previous blood and urine samples that couldn’t be deemed positive, yet aroused suspicion, could now be re-tested. These samples have been stored in freezers awaiting more advanced testing methods. “There could be interesting cases to come,” Olivier Rabin said.

According to WADA-funded researchers Iain Macdougall and Michael Ashenden, up to 80 EPO derivatives may now be in circulation. New tests are in place to detect some new strains of EPO but the battle to find a test for all EPO drugs is ongoing. Some EPO drugs can be found for sale on the Internet. A Ukraine website, for example, offers a Russian-made EPO copy, Epocrin. Epocrin is one of the EPO copies that are difficult to detect using the current WADA tests but should be easily detected with the revised methods, according to one WADA-approved lab.

The amendments to testing will give labs the choice of using a testing technique called SDS-Page in cases where the current EPO test doesn’t offer a clear-cut result. Arne Ljungqvist, chairman of the International Ol
ympic Committee’s medical commission, called the new tests “a step in the right direction”.

Word may have spread among the dopers that the new strains of EPO were undetectable, providing these dopers with a hidden loophole. With the new tests now available it is hoped that these ‘missed’ EPO samples will bring the severe penalties to the riders who have brought cycling’s image to an all time low.

Bike Pure urge that all athletes support the freezing of their samples for at least 10 years and are forthright in allowing tests to be conducted on their samples (with their prior knowledge if need be) at any time. If a rider has nothing to hide then why hide. Every clean cyclist must play their part in the fight against the dopers.

UCI president Pat McQuaid hinted that in the coming weeks their biological passport program would finally start to produce results.

The biological passport programme registers the red blood cell level in an individual rider over an annual period, taking around 10 sample tests. Evidence of large shifts in these levels is a tell tale sign of riders cheating with drugs. These drugs may be large amounts of substances already present in the body like EPO or testosterone and only the value increases will denote cheating.

Although the scheme has yet to stand up to the legal system, Bike Pure commends the UCI on any step to separate the cheaters from the true racing cyclists. Their new methods include following rumors and results in detecting use of artificial means seem to be a positive step.

With the goal of protecting clean athletes, WADA have introduced this and will hopefully refine the methodology to produce results. Convictions and banning of the weak souled cheats that are destroying cycling from within are sure to follow.

Scientist Dr Horst Pagel from the Institute of Physiology at the University of Lübeck has warned that a new wave of doping could already be in use by top athletes. The drug in question is Hematide, which is used to treat anemia, and like EPO, is a known blood booster.

Hematide is a synthetic peptide-based erythropoiesis-stimulating agent (ESA) and stimulates the production of red blood cells in a similar way to that of EPO but has a completely different molecular structure than classical EPO. The drug has yet to be approved and is only undergoing phase 3 medical trials so it is unclear if there are any major side effects.

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Subscribe Now

Sign up to receive BikeRumor content direct to your inbox.

Subscribe Now

Sign up to receive BikeRumor content direct to your inbox.