A study to be published today in the JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSIOLOGY completed by a respected lab in Copenhagen shows that the test for EPO (used in endurance sports, like the Tour de France cyclists and marathons) used by the World Anti-Doping Agency does not work in WADA’s own labs.
(Maybe WADA thinks they’re testing for prog rock?)
The Copenhagen lab had eight strapping young lads take EPO and then provide urine samples. The samples were sent off to two labs used by WADA to be tested for EPO. Under WADA’s testing protocol, none of them men would have tested positive for EPO if they were athletes. Some came up positive (or “suspicious”) at each lab, but neither lab found the same samples to be suspect.
As the NEW YORK TIMES points out, this may be why most EPO busts by Dick Pound (WADA chief) and his merry band of testers have been through criminal investigations (vials found in hotel rooms, leaked grand jury testimony, etc.) and not through testing.
The same study had the young men take endurance tests as long as they were on EPO. They improved their ability to endure anywhere from 9 to 50 percent, depending on the level of exertion. (Not going all-out increased the efficacy of the doping.)
To summarize: according to one study, EPO works and no one can catch it being used without snitches. Enjoy the Olympics and the Tour de France, kids!