Kamis, 09 Oktober 2008

New Drug Test for Athletes

The International Olympics Committee plans to retest many of the nearly 1,000 blood samples it collected during the 2008 games in Beijing for a synthetic analogue of the natural hormone erythropoietin, called CERA. CERA is a so-called “designer drug” that was supposed to escape detection. But a test is now available to detect CERA, and several Tour de France cyclists subsequently were found to have used it.

According to World Anti-Doping Agency rules, an athlete’s blood may be retested for up to eight years after an athletic event. The International Olympics Committee keeps blood samples for eight years for situations like this, in which a new test is developed to detect a previously undetectable performance-enhancing drug. It’s just another way that sports authorities try to keep up with athletes who are willing to cheat. Sports authorities hope that the knowledge that an athlete might still be stripped of his/her medals up to eight years after a competition will deter some athletes from using drugs in the first place. But the desire to win is strong, and no one knows if the strategy will work.

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