Substance Abuse

Latest Study Aims To Catch Athletes Who Use Blood Doping

Blood doping is an illegal transfusion of blood, and a type of autologous blood transfusion (ABT) that increases the levels of oxygen and red blood cells. In sports, specific standards of endurance, agility, and strength are given consideration, and that’s why some athletes go through blood doping procedures to ensure their slots in teams. While it is considered illegal, athletes resort to blood doping as it boosts performance in their respective fields.

Although Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) enables the detection of blood doping, Dr. Nicolas Leuenberger of the Swiss Laboratory for Doping Analyses, University Center of Legal Medicine at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland suggested that in order to increase the efficiency of ABP, it should also look into other biomarkers like hemoglobin mass to trace transfusion for as long as 15 days after procedure.

Further, the report published in Tranfusion Medicine Reviews recommended that biomarkers should also include expression of genes related to red blood cell metabolism to detect possible alteration, test on iron levels, storage lesions, and urine samples.

Athletes using ABT should be identified so as to maintain an efficient scheme of screening team players in various fields of sports. This can only be attained by being strict in testing methods, allowing for the inclusion of conventional biomarkers such as urine, white blood and plasma.


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