Advances in testing (EPO & gene doping)

Mar 4, 2010
1,826
0
0
Austrian researchers have developed a test that can detect all forms of EPO even at micro-doses.

http://kurier.at/sport/2051556.php

http://translate.google.se/translate?hl=sv&sl=de&tl=en&u=http://kurier.at/sport/2051556.php

The austrian anti-doping agency turned it down. :rolleyes:

"It was said, 'Why should Austria leading the way'?"

"NADA chief Andreas Schwab admits that it is probably not to the point, he would consider it "not so great if Austria does it alone."

Absolutely disgraceful from someone who is supposed to combat doping, not protect austrian athletes.

Let's hope the test delivers what it promises and gets implemented by WADA soon.

Here's an article on the detection of gene doping:

http://news.doccheck.com/de/article/201932-jagdsaison-fuer-doping-suender/

http://translate.google.se/translate?js=n&prev=_t&hl=sv&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&sl=de&tl=en&u=http://news.doccheck.com/de/article/201932-jagdsaison-fuer-doping-suender/
 
I have not seen the publication of this method, but antibody detection is tricky. The article says they have an antibody that will recognize any form of EPO, but of course the major problem with EPO detection is that the antibody recognizes both native and synthetic forms. Thus the gel procedure, and the complex, and imprecise, method of determining whether synthetic EPO is present. As far as I can tell from the article, their method does not improve on that. It’s very well known that the EPO test does not catch the majority of users for just this reason. Also, so many new forms of EPO are being designed that I wonder how certain they can be that they have located a site on the molecule that will be common to all of them.

But the bottom line is that transfusion is probably the preferred form of doping now, anyways, with small, indetectable amounts of EPO (their antibodies won’t help with that) used to raise HT/lower reticulocytes quickly and efficiently. This test will probably help ensure that athletes stick to that, at least unless/until a validated plasticizer test that can’t be easily foiled comes along.

Wrt gene doping detection, the method depends on transfected cells secreting the foreign DNA into the bloodstream. I wasn’t aware that transfected cells always do this, but I’m not an expert in this technology, and DNA can be detected easily at extremely minute levels, so it doesn’t take much leakage. The test detects “junk DNA”, long non-coding sequences that aren’t generally necessary for basic functions, and so are excluded for efficiency when synthesizing a foreign gene. In principle, one might be able to foil the test by designing more natural genes, with the non-coding sequences present, but this would require having your own lab and some researcher working for you. Definitely a quantum leap beyond having your own centrifuge and freezer. Then again, it might not be that easy for athletes to get the usual synthetic genes, either, unless they have some researcher cooperating with them. So I would expect that somewhere out there, someone is planning ways to foil this test.

I definitely believe their claim that this test produces no false positives, IF you know what you are looking for, and test just for that. But since an athlete might dope with any number of genes, a more general test might be required, and this might produce false positives.

One advantage of this test is that blood tests are harder to foil than urine tests. What I mean by that is that athletes usually **** alone, and sometimes can put a substance in their urine to mask or degrade what is being tested for. In this case, you would want Dnase, an enzyme that degrades DNA, but I don’t see how you can introduce that when someone is right there withdrawing the blood.
 
Mar 4, 2010
1,826
0
0
I know nothing about the science of EPO-testing but they claim the test CAN detect micro-doses, that is quite clear.
 
May 26, 2010
28,144
2
0
lets hope that the German labs adopt it asap and get some tests for some of this years samples that are still available.
 
Nov 24, 2010
263
1
0
Tyler'sTwin said:
I know nothing about the science of EPO-testing but they claim the test CAN detect micro-doses, that is quite clear.
Is there any possibility that WADA have not ratified the testing method yet? And therefore any positives would not hold up in court !

cheers dallas
 
Tyler'sTwin said:
I know nothing about the science of EPO-testing but they claim the test CAN detect micro-doses, that is quite clear.
Again, I haven't seen any publication, but I question this claim. The first step in the EPO test is to determine if there is a detectable level of EPO, of any kind, natural or synthetic, in the urine. If there is, then a gel test is run to determine if at least some of that EPO is synthetic.

As I discussed in another thread here a while back, EPO of any kind is not even detected in the urine in a substantial portion of subjects, 20-30%, I think. This is normal, and not the result of masking. Unless these researchers have come up with a much more sensitive antibody, this situation won't change.

Given that EPO is detected, it's still a challenge to establish the presence of synthetic EPO. Even a doper will have a mixture of natural and synthetic, and often the gel pattern is ambiguous. In this case, the sensitivity of the antibody is irrelevant, since it's being used to detect both natural and synthetic. If the amount of synthetic is small relative to the amount of natural, it will be very difficult to establish from the gel pattern that synthetic is present.

So I really don't see how this new test will be superior at detecting micro-dosing. What I got from the article was that the antibody will detect any form of synthetic EPO, which means riders can't be careless about the amounts and schedules they use, on the assumption that the EPO they use won't be detectable. But detecting small amounts of any form of EPO is still difficult.

If I come across information that says otherwise, I will report it here. And if someone here has seen something more, feel free to weigh in, of course.
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
masking_agent The Clinic 11
B The Clinic 2
D The Clinic 10

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS