14 October 2011

WADA Athlete Committee calls for more blood and EPO testing

Members of WADA’s Athlete Committee have called on Anti-Doping Organizations (ADOs) across the world to increase the amount of blood samples and to also conduct more tests for erythropoietin (EPO).

Both issues were near the top of the agenda at a meeting in Colorado Springs, where all the athletes agreed there was a need for more blood collection and more analysis for EPO in order to catch the "sophisticated doper".

During the meeting the athletes were also given an update on the Anti-Doping Administration and Management System (ADAMS) and the upcoming improvements to the Whereabouts module.

“Athletes have approached me and asked for more blood tests to be carried out so that the Athlete Biological Passport can be applied to winter sports such as cross country skiing and biathlon,” said WADA Athlete Committee member Sara Fischer, a twice snowboarding Olympian and winner at five World Cups.

“They want more blood taken in order to catch the sophisticated doper, and also to prove to others that they are competing as clean athletes.

If ADOs increased the blood sampling then they would be following the wishes of athletes.”

New Zealand’s former Olympic windsurfing champion Barbara Kendall was in agreement with her fellow Committee member.

“Now the systems and programs are in place it is time to get more efficient and serious about the time of tests being conducted,” said Ms. Kendall, a five-times Olympian and also a member of the IOC Athlete Commission.

“EPO and hGH is where it’s at, it’s what the sophisticated dopers are using and we must make sure that we make testing more intelligent so that we can target these cheats. More blood needs to be collected, and more urine samples need to be tested for EPO.”

The Athlete Committee was also given a presentation on the review process for the World Anti-Doping Code, and updates on WADA’s Outreach programs and models, and the Say NO! To Doping campaign.

The meeting was hosted by the IOC and US Olympic Committee.