Blood TestingDoping in sport is a serious challenge, ruining the reputation of the sport, robbing true athletes of their integrity and putting the athlete’s health at risk. All eyes are now on the athletes at the Sochi Olympics that kicked off on February 7. Right at the outset, it was made clear that International Olympic and anti-doping officials would implement the most rigorous drug-testing programs in Winter Games history by using intelligence to monitor athletes and events considered most at risk. Urine and blood samples will be stored for eight years for retroactive testing, providing further deterrence to anyone thinking they will not be found out.

Testing for doping with high growth hormone, including samples from Sochi Olympic athletes, is to resume after being stalled by an appeal case ruling last year. The case involved Two-time Olympic cross country skiing champion Andrus Veerpalu who won an appeal last March on the ban imposed by the International Ski Federation. The Federation maintained that Veerpalu tested positive for HGH in Estonia in January 2011 while preparing for the world championships the following month.

The Court of Arbitration (CAS) supported Veerpalu’s appeal against the ban because statistical parameters for the test results could produce false positives, though it had requested additional evidence of accurate HGH analysis in this case. Now, fresh research has largely confirmed the original statistics. According to World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) director-general David Howman, two independent teams had come to the same conclusion as to what the decision limits should be, and they are very close to what was previously written and looked at in Veerpalu’s case.

Another related development which has shocked WADA is that a Russian scientist is reported to have offered to sell a seemingly powerful and untraceable new muscle-building drug to undercover journalists. It has been tested only on animals and can prove extremely dangerous for athletes.

The WADA Anti-doping program lays down extensive guidelines for hGh isoform differential immunoassays for anti-doping analyses. These include lab requirements prior to application of the hGH isoform differential immunoassay method to samples for ant-doping analysis, assay pre-analytical procedure, assay analytical procedure, testing strategy, and reporting and interpretation of results.

The rising importance of blood tests in sports will boost the market for high quality immunoassay analyzers, centrifuges and blood collection sets. A new lab carried out about 6000 tests during the London Olympics and it is continuing as a center for researchers looking to develop improved, focused medical treatments.