A test for EPO was introduced at the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney (Australia). The test, validated by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), was based on blood and urine matrices. A blood screening was performed first and a urine test was then used to confirm possible use of EPO.
In June 2003, WADA’s Executive Committee accepted the results of an independent report stating that urine tests alone can be used to detect the presence of recombinant EPO. This report, requested by WADA’s stakeholders and commissioned by the Agency to evaluate the validity of urine and blood tests for detecting the presence of recombinant EPO, concluded that urine testing is the only scientifically validated method for direct detection of recombinant EPO. This report also recommended that urine testing be used in conjunction with blood screening for a variety of reasons, including the cost savings of performing blood screening prior to testing urine. Some International Federations still use both urine and blood matrices for the detection of EPO. Recently, the urine test used for the detection of some new erythropoiesis stimulating agents was adapted for blood testing.