16 June 2011
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WADA and FMSI encouraged by outcome of Rome Symposium on detection for peptide hormones

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), in conjunction with the Italian Federation of Sports Medicine (FMSI), was encouraged with the outcome of its Rome Symposium on developments and challenges in the detection of doping with peptide hormones.

The two-day Symposium (June 15-16) was hosted by the FMSI, and attracted 60 experts in the fields of science research and medicine from across the world, who were in the Italian capital to further the fight against doping in sport.

“It is widely accepted that the doping cheats are becoming more and more sophisticated, so it is imperative that the anti-doping community applies cutting-edge science to stay one step ahead of them in terms of detection,” said FMSI President Dr Maurizio Casasco.

“Peptide hormones are readily available on the black market and are at the cutting edge of performance-enhancing substances. This symposium will play a crucial role in our ability to keep sport clean and counter the efforts of those athletes who wish to cheat.”

Participants reviewed scientific advances in the area of detection of doping with peptide hormones, releasing factors and other related substances.

After a series of presentations over four sessions, the following conclusions were made at the closing session:

- Bringing together Italian and international specialists involved in cutting-edge research in the field of peptide hormone detection and experts from the anti-doping community resulted in a  productive review of the most advanced methodological concepts in this analytical field in the context of their potential applications for anti-doping testing purposes.

- During the last few years, significant progress has been achieved in the field of peptide and protein detection, which has been reflected in several successful applications in the fight against doping in sport. Nowadays, WADA-accredited laboratories are able to detect several recombinant peptide hormones, including some which are identical in structure to their endogenous counterparts.

- The symposium reviewed the integration of the most advanced technology platforms, in particular in the areas of Mass Spectrometry and Immunoassay, in order to provide strategic analytical perspectives to the future anti-doping tests. Special attention was given to highly innovative methodologies applied to sample purification procedures, enhancement of assay sensitivity and specificity, as well as multiplexing of assays in order to make anti-doping tests more effective and cost-efficient in the years to come.  

“There have been a number of advances in detection methods for peptide hormones, and I am delighted that we have been able to gather in Rome to broaden our knowledge into this key doping substance,” said Pr Francesco Botrè, Director of the Rome anti-doping laboratory.

“We are particularly proud of the partnership between FMSI and WADA, and to have hosted the symposium. It is critical that the fields of science and medicine come together to share their expertise - it sends out a very strong message to athletes that we will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to eradicate doping in sport.” concluded Dr Casasco.


For further information, please contact:

Terence O’Rorke, WADA Senior Manager, Media Relations and Communications
+ 1-514-904-8820