Wednesday, 26 March 2008

WADA testing... gone south

As should be the case, science is coming forward faster, in terms of resolving longitudinal study-issues, such as would be a perfectly reasonable match for inclusion in the WADA / UCI / French Ministry of Sport (& etc) pilot program for 'Athlete's Passports', as was featured in the WADA Press Symposium, offered in Lausanne, at the IOC Museum, late last February.

Hot of the internet press, is this test-busting item from the Endocrine Society, which has all the earmarks of being a late, perhaps too late, determining factor for testing such as has destroyed the world's image of Cyclist Floyd Landis.

The article is "Doping Test in Sports Confounded by Common Genetic Trait", and it destroys the myth that current Testosterone testing is exact. It apparently has also determined a genetically derived process to help define narrowly the types of individuals we all our, based on genetic traces whose alternate levels are consistent within the groups defined.

The tests for testosterone doping used in professional and amateur sports may routinely be confounded by a common genetic variation, according to a new study accepted for publication in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM). Unless this variation is accounted for, current testing methods could implicate innocent athletes and allow cheaters to go undetected.

WADAwatch can merely state "... more to come on this lively subject." Hopefully, an emergency meeting of WADA's accredited laboratories (which could of course be an email conference beginning, umm, yesterday?) is ready to probe this scientific study and act towards stabilizing its
Tech Doc TD2004EAAS, which may have just been rendered... obsolete?

As parties in the Landis case may submit documents to CAS up to April 18th, there's time to probe the validity of these studies, and determine their judicial worth.

The opinions expressed by WADAwatch are strictly formed with the purpose of inciting WADA to adhere to its Fundamental Rationale, achieve its goals and fulfil the aspirations of its Signatories, in achieving the highest possible level of objective, neutral science in sport-doping control.

Without science, law itself (OR justice?), may be impossible


1 comment:

Jon said...

The only way to be certain of a testosterone/epitestosterone ratio test is through genetic mapping of enzyme UGT2B17. Three different gene variations of enzyme UGT2B17 exist within the population (that they know of) so the only way to be certain that the testosterone/epitestosterone ratio is not a false positive or negative is by genetic mapping of the athlete's DNA.
So to be absolutely certain that an athlete doped with synthetic testosterone, an IRMS would have to be run. As we have seen with the Landis case, the IRMS has serious questionable validity and reliability when the laboratory does not adhere to strict laboratory standards.
WADA TD2004 EAAS calls for longitudinal tests if an IRMS is deemed inconclusive. This longitudinal aspect of the Technical Document is based on primitive reasoning of a "spike" and could be discarded if DNA testing of a sample can resolve the false positive/false negative issue. [NB: This reasoning does not apply to a single GC/C/IRMS, Carbon Isotope Ratio test, which should in all cases call for longitudinal testing validation.] However, WADA will always argue that the expense precludes the reasonableness of DNA tests except for high profile cases.

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