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Rogues watch out, WADA’s ready

The world Anti-Doping Agency has come up with more sophisticated and effective ways of screening the latest doping substances EPO (Erythropoietin) and HGH (Human Growth Hormone), reports Indraneel Das.

india Updated: Aug 08, 2008 00:07 IST
Indraneel Das

The world Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has come up with more sophisticated and effective ways of screening the latest doping substances EPO (Erythropoietin) and HGH (Human Growth Hormone). So, watch out rogues.

EPO’s tyrst with infamy came at the Tour de France this summer and the world will be focused on Beijing to see how efficiently WADA handles the situation.

The WADA though said it is ready. “All I can say is that the rogues cannot escape this time,” said WADA chief Mike Fahey on Thursday. Ending speculation over unavailability of collection kits for HGH, the WADA chief added that the Beijing Games’ accredited laboratory has all the equipment ready to carry out its anti-doping programme with greater efficiency than in Athens.

“During the four years we have evolved a lot and it is our continuous effort to put an end to this menace,” said Fahey.

The WADA has warned athletes that even if the lab fails to detect some substance, it would have time for the next eight years, which is how long they can preserve blood samples in the form of plasma.

“We can keep testing these samples till eight years, so who knows an athlete may be caught some eight years later,” said Fahey. “It will be naive to say that there are no drug cheats out there. But we are on the job.”

Blood sample collection was introduced at the Athens Games and this time the WADA is all set to collect the maximum number of samples. There were whispers that 450 sampling kits for HGH, though after much delay, have already been flown in. Fahey, however, refused to reveal anything.

Delhi should buckle up

If the rogues need to watch their steps, then Delhi, the Commonwealth Games 2010 (CWG) hosts, too must buckle up. With WADA vowing to introduce the same level of anti-doping measures even in regional competitions like Asian Games and CWG Delhi’s National Anti Doping Organisation needs to train its scientists and procure all the equipment needed to test HGH and EPO.

“Even in the CWG, we have to introduce this level of screening,” said WADA chief executive David Howman. “They have to get all the equipment and expertise to test HGH and EPO testing, otherwise we will withdraw its accreditation.” The accreditation is likely to be earned at WADA’s next executive committee meeting. “We will discuss the accreditation process at our executive committee meeting next month. But it’s in the final phase,” said Howman. Hopefully, by the end of the year, the Delhi lab would get its accreditation.