Something to Say
By: Michele Ferrari
Published: 15 Dec 2010
Even though we all agree that doping in sports is something to fight back, it is also rather obvious that the actual anti-doping system has become reason for major economic and political interests, free to operate without external independent checking.
The ever increasingly sophisticate anti-doping tests are in fact exclusive pertinence of laboratories licensed by WADA: both parties have all the interest in supporting each other, sharing the same cake.
Whoever outside of the system tries, or rather dares, to question the methods (*) is immediately censored and criticized by this privileged self-referential scientific community.
* please read:
- Delange et Al.: testing for recombinant human erythropoietin. J Appl Physiol 2008; 105 : 395-396.
- Lundby et Al. : testing for recombinant human Epo in urine: problems associated with current antidoping testing. J Appl Physiol 2008 ; 105 : 417-419.
- Lippi G. : preanalytical and analytical issues in indirect hematologic testing. J Appl Physiol 2008; 105:1990-1991.
Currently applied tests and anti-doping methods lend themselves to act as means to pressure and blackmail athletes, teams or Federations.
These last-mentioned know extremely well that the "Controls System" can easily "hit and sink" them anytime.
The clockwork, instrumental use of the Biologic Passport, applied without clearly defined rules, easily lends itself to intimidating, blackmailing and striking at those who don't keep their heads down.
Not even thinking about the possibility of contaminating a blood or urine sample, both during the collection/transport phase (it's not so hard to open a plastic container and replace it with a similar one, with the same code number...) and the analytic phase, when the latter counts as many as 50 steps-manipulations of the same sample, as in the case of EPO testing.
As for the so-called "counter-analysis", the fact that it can only be carried out at "sibling" WADA labs (if not at the same lab!) that have all the interest in confirming the result of the A sample, seriously stirs doubts over the correct, impartial processing of the testing.
Analyzing the B sample in an Independent Laboratory at the same time as the A sample being checked in a WADA lab would surely add transparency to controls, as well as help curbing a certain exasperation in testing techniques, sometimes performed without the necessary reliability checks.
THE CONTADOR CASE
- It is unthinkable that the no. 1 cyclist in the world, subject to potential testing EVERY DAY of the year, from 6 in the morning until 11 at night, would consciously take clenbuterol, a substance that can be easily traced for days after consumption.
- It is unacceptable that after 5 month, the UCI has yet to take a decision: either the test is "negative" and the news should not have come out of the lab" or the test is "positive" and the regulation allows to convict blameless individuals, the proverbial lamb to sacrifice on the altar of the "Fight against Doping", at any cost.
The unchecked run towards ever increasingly sophisticated and sensitive tests actually exposes athetes to higher risks of "false positives" or "positives that are not guilty".
- Why did the Cologne Laboratory push the sensitivity of the testing of Contador's samples 200 times higher than the recommended WADA level?
I do not believe that the same processing was set to analyzing all the other samples, in all the other Labs, in all sports.
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