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Testing, repeatibility, different labs

Aug 13, 2009
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A question or three for those that know more about the actual methodology used to perform the testing of samples (blood, urine, hair, fingernails, etc).

If a given sample, assuming it's "big enough" to be split into a dozen individual samples, with each one given to a different UCI/WADA certified lab, each lab running the same tests, would they come up with the same results or is there an interpretation of the results by a human?

If they should all come up with the same results, would it be logistically possible for all B samples to be overnighted to a "gold standard lab" (perhaps Swiss?) for at least all three major European tours (TDF, Giro, Vuelta)? Yes, I'm assuming proper storage, proper chain of evidence.

Just from a process point of view, it seems like a positive would have more validity if any accredited lab would produce the same results and secondary samples were all tested by a gold standard lab that both the officials and the riders agreed upon. If all samples were "double blind" coded back to the athletes that would be even better.

No, I'm not trolling, not a fanboy of anyone (ok, maybe Stan Ockers), just an engineer with a question.
Aug 6, 2009
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There is always either some potential for interpretation or some innacuracy in any test. The standards for a positive are quite strict however, so it's far more likely that you'd get a true positive and a false negative in different labs, than a false negative in either of them. However you are of cause correct in that it would be optimal for a retest to be done at a diferent lab.