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Brenneisen R.,University of Bern | Meyer P.,University of Bern | Chtioui H.,University Hospital of Berne | Saugy M.,Swiss Laboratory for Doping Analyses | Kamber M.,Antidoping Switzerland
Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry | Year: 2010

Since 2004, cannabis has been prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency for all sports competitions. In the years since then, about half of all positive doping cases in Switzerland have been related to cannabis consumption. In doping urine analysis, the target analyte is 11-nor-9-carboxy- Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC-COOH), the cutoff being 15 ng/mL. However, the wide urinary detection window of the long-term metabolite of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) does not allow a conclusion to be drawn regarding the time of consumption or the impact on the physical performance. The purpose of the present study on light cannabis smokers was to evaluate target analytes with shorter urinary excretion times. Twelve male volunteers smoked a cannabis cigarette standardized to 70 mg THC per cigarette. Plasma and urine were collected up to 8 h and 11 days, respectively. Total THC, 11-hydroxy-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC-OH), and THC-COOH were determined after hydrolysis followed by solid-phase extraction and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. The limits of quantitation were 0.1-1.0 ng/mL. Eight puffs delivered a mean THC dose of 45 mg. Plasma levels of total THC, THC-OH, and THC-COOH were measured in the ranges 0.2-59.1, 0.1-3.9, and 0.4-16.4 ng/mL, respectively. Peak concentrations were observed at 5, 5-20, and 20-180 min. Urine levels were measured in the ranges 0.1-1.3, 0.1-14.4, and 0.5-38.2 ng/mL, peaking at 2, 2, and 6-24 h, respectively. The times of the last detectable levels were 2-8, 6-96, and 48-120 h. Besides high to very high THC-COOH levels (245 ± 1,111 ng/mL), THC (3 ± 8 ng/mL) and THC-OH (51 ± 246 ng/mL) were found in 65 and 98% of cannabis-positive athletes' urine samples, respectively. In conclusion, in addition to THC-COOH, the pharmacologically active THC and THC-OH should be used as target analytes for doping urine analysis. In the case of light cannabis use, this may allow the estimation of more recent consumption, probably influencing performance during competitions. However, it is not possible to discriminate the intention of cannabis use, i.e., for recreational or doping purposes. Additionally, pharmacokinetic data of female volunteers are needed to interpret cannabis-positive doping cases of female athletes. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.

Giraud S.,Swiss Laboratory for Doping Analyses
Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology | Year: 2010

Blood transfusion is an effective and unmediated means of increasing the number of red blood cells in the circulation in order to enhance athletic performance. Blood transfusion became popular in the 1970s among elite endurance athletes and declined at the end of the 1980s with the introduction of recombinant erythropoietin. The successive implementation in 2001 of a direct test to detect exogenous erythropoietin and in 2004 of a test to detect allogeneic blood transfusion forced cheating athletes to reinfuse fully immunologically compatible blood. The implementation of indirect markers of blood doping stored in an Athlete's Biological Passport provides a powerful means to deter any form of blood transfusion. © 2009 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Harcourt P.R.,Khan Research Laboratories | Marclay F.,Swiss Laboratory for Doping Analyses | Clothier B.,Integrity Unit
British Journal of Sports Medicine | Year: 2014

Background The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is introducing enhancements to doping investigations in its 2015 Code, which include improved sharing of information between antidoping organisations (including sporting bodies) and enhanced accountability of athlete support staff. These additions will improve the control of links between sports doping and organised crime. In February 2013 the Australian Crime Commission released a report that linked several professional sporting codes, professional athletes with links to organised crime, performance enhancing drugs and illicit substances. Following this report the Australian Football League (AFL) partnered the Australian national antidoping organisation to investigate peptide use in Australian football. Methods This review compared the model proposed by Marclay, a hypothetical model for anti-doping investigations that proposed a forensic intelligence and analysis approach, to use the forensic capabilities of the AFL investigation to test the model's relevance to an actual case. Results The investigation uncovered the use of peptides used to enhance athlete performance. The AFL investigation found a high risk of doping where athlete support staff existed in teams with weak corporate governance controls. A further finding included the need for the investigation to provide a timely response in professional team sports that were sensitive to the competition timing. In the case of the AFL the team was sanctioned prior to the finals as an interim outcome for allowing the risk of use of performance-enhancing substances. Doping violation charges are still being considered. Discussion Antidoping strategies should include the investigation of corporate officers in team doping circumstances, the mandatory recording of all athlete substance use during competition and training phases, the wider sharing of forensic intelligence with non-sporting bodies particularly law enforcement and collaboration between antidoping and sporting organisations in doping investigations. Conclusions The AFL investigation illustrated the importance of the 2015 WADA Code changes and highlighted the need for a systematic use of broad forensic intelligence activities in the investigation of doping violations.

Dvorak J.,FIFA F MARC FIFA Strasse | Baume N.,Lausanne Anti Doping Laboratory | Botre F.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Broseus J.,University of Lausanne | And 23 more authors.
British Journal of Sports Medicine | Year: 2014

A medical and scientific multidisciplinary consensus meeting was held from 29 to 30 November 2013 on Anti-Doping in Sport at the Home of FIFA in Zurich, Switzerland, to create a roadmap for the implementation of the 2015 World Anti-Doping Code. The consensus statement and accompanying papers set out the priorities for the antidoping community in research, science and medicine. The participants achieved consensus on a strategy for the implementation of the 2015 World Anti-Doping Code. Key components of this strategy include: (1) sport-specific risk assessment, (2) prevalence measurement, (3) sport-specific test distribution plans, (4) storage and reanalysis, (5) analytical challenges, (6) forensic intelligence, (7) psychological approach to optimise the most deterrent effect, (8) the Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) and confounding factors, (9) data management system (Anti-Doping Administration & Management System (ADAMS), (10) education, (11) research needs and necessary advances, (12) inadvertent doping and (13) management and ethics: biological data. True implementation of the 2015 World Anti-Doping Code will depend largely on the ability to align thinking around these core concepts and strategies. FIFA, jointly with all other engaged International Federations of sports (Ifs), the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), are ideally placed to lead transformational change with the unwavering support of the wider antidoping community. The outcome of the consensus meeting was the creation of the ad hoc Working Group charged with the responsibility of moving this agenda forward.

Sottas P.-E.,Swiss Laboratory for Doping Analyses
Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology | Year: 2010

In the fight against doping, disciplinary sanctions have up to now been primarily based on the discovery of an exogenous substance in a biological fluid of the athlete. However, indirect markers of altered erythropoiesis can provide enough evidence to differentiate between natural variations and blood doping. Forensic techniques for the evaluation of the evidence, and more particularly Bayesian networks, allow antidoping authorities to take into account firstly the natural variations of indirect markers - through a mathematical formalism based on probabilities - and secondly the complexity due to the multiplicity of causes and confounding effects - through a distributed and flexible graphical representation. The information stored in an athlete's biological passport may be then sufficient to launch a disciplinary procedure against the athlete. The strength of the passport is that it relies on a statistical approach based on sound empirical testing on large populations and justifiable protocols. Interestingly, its introduction coincides with the paradigm shift that is materializing today in forensic identification science, from archaic assumptions of absolute certainty and perfection to a more defensible empirical and probabilistic foundation. © 2009 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

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