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Testing blood to keep athletics clean

All of the world's top athletes are set to undergo Tour de France-style blood tests for the first time prior to the world athletics championships in Daegu, South Korea, the IAAF announced on Thursday.

india Updated: Aug 11, 2011 23:53 IST

All of the world's top athletes are set to undergo Tour de France-style blood tests for the first time prior to the world athletics championships in Daegu, South Korea, the IAAF announced on Thursday.

Athletics world governing body, which has already adopted the biological passport programme pioneered by the world cycling authorities, aims to collect blood samples from all competing athletes for the first time prior to the August 27 start.

“The IAAF will collect blood samples from 'all' athletes taking part in the IAAF World Championships in Daegu in an unprecedented anti-doping programme,” the IAAF said in a statement on Thursday.

The IAAF said the programme will be conducted “in close co-operation with the Lausanne WADA-accredited Anti-Doping Laboratory (LAD) and with the support of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)”, as well as a number of local partners in Korea.

It will supplement the “regular doping controls that are collected at a World Championships”, according to the statement. The IAAF said an approximate total of 500 urine samples will be collected in and out of competition at the championships.

Cyclists at the Tour de France are traditionally subject to a pre-race medical during which they must give a blood sample.

However a more convincing deterrant is the biological passport programme, which allows anti-doping experts to register and chart biological markers over time, allowing comparison and further scrutiny if necessary.