Jamaican athletes' blood tested in Moscow pre-Champs camp
BY PAUL A REID Observer writer
Tuesday, August 06, 2013
MONTEGO BAY, St James — All 44 members of Jamaica's team to the 14th IAAF World Championships were tested for drugs at their Moscow pre-championships training camp yesterday, merely hours after the latest set of athletes entered the camp, ahead of Saturday's start of the Championships.
The management of the blood testing, which lasted approximately five hours and was conducted at the team's hotel, was part of the new comprehensive anti-doping strategy for the World Championships that is being undertaken by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). It was implemented for the athletes' biological passport, and will see all of the near 2,000 athletes taking part in the nine-day event being tested, as part of the pre-competition test.
Team media liaison officer Dennis Gordon confirmed the testing when contacted by the Jamaica Observer yesterday. "All our athletes have completed the testing in accordance with WADA's rules," he said.
He explained that the athletes were selected in batches of 10, and it took each set nearly an hour to be tested.
The IAAF had announced earlier this year that following up on the testing of all athletes who took part in the 2011 edition in Daegu, South Korea, they would be continuing the sophisticated anti-doping programme for the 14th edition of the championships which take place from August 10-18, 2013.
That anti-doping programme, which was conducted in close cooperation with the Lausanne WADA-accredited Anti-Doping Laboratory, and with the support of WADA, and local partners, was unprecedented in world sport history.
It was the first time that nearly 2,000 elite athletes competing in a major sports event had their blood tested under the same optimal conditions, within the same time period.
The IAAF release also stated that the blood-testing in Moscow is with the support of the Athlete Biological Passport programme and "as in Daegu, it will cover all disciplines in athletics and a wide range of relevant biomarkers. Notably, the analyses will not only screen markers indicating the use of EPO or blood manipulation in endurance events, but also markers potentially indicating steroid or growth hormone doping more relevant to the power disciplines".
Yesterday's testing will not be the only tests the athletes will undergo, however, as the regular urine samples will also be taken from the first three finishers immediately after each event, in addition to athletes who are target tested and some by random draw. The IAAF says another 500 urine samples will be taken throughout the competition.
"The blood testing programme in Moscow will be organised in addition to the regular doping controls that are collected at every IAAF World Championships. Moscow 2013 will witness a programme of approximately 500 urine samples, in and out-of-competition combined. In accordance with the IAAF policy implemented for the first time in 2005 at the World Championships in Helsinki, urine samples collected in Moscow, will be kept for long-term storage for possible re-analyses at a later stage in anticipation of new scientific developments."