The World Anti-Doping Agency said on Sunday it is studying a new method that would allow wider testing of the banned blood-boosting hormone EPO.
Arne Ljungqvist, vice president of WADA, said the method still needs to be validated and didn't provide details about the testing process. He said that if it proves successful, the new method could be used much more widely than the existing system, which is expensive and complicated.
"This is a high priority for us, to have this process rapidly validated in order to expand the analysis for EPO," Ljungqvist said at the conclusion of a two-day scientific symposium on blood doping held jointly with the Japan Anti-Doping Agency.
A team of researchers presented the new method at the meeting, he said.
"The method covers all potential generations of EPO, and will tell us whether a sample is negative or not," he said.
Ljungqvist said he was hopeful that "we will have a new tool very soon in our hands that will be much more efficient in the fight against EPO, including the various generations that are coming.