The incredible new option to improve performance comes from a marine worm, which has recently been discovered to have extraordinary oxygen absorption capabilities. According to studies carried out by Franck Zal, the worm has developed a special haemoglobin which can absorb a quantity of oxygen 40 times greater than that of humans.
But above all, it is not so easily traceable. The French researcher started his company to commercialize this chemical substance with the aim of using it in the medical field since it can be used in various situations, in particular to improve the oxygenation of transplanted organs, but it can also be used to solve problems periodontal, healing and could also solve many problems in the field of transfusions. And it is precisely in this context that possible doping comes into play...
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According to some experts, it has already been used since 2019 and only recently has a method been found to identify it. Among the first sports to be suspected are skiing, so much so that it was already used at the World Championships in Sweden three years ago, but there is suspicion that it was also used in cycling.
"We have been contacted by athletes, by gyms, by people who know that this molecule can be doping, but it is quite incredible, because we say to ourselves: either they are completely stupid, or they think we are stupid," already commented Zal on Radio Canada last year.
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"A well-known cyclist, with a foreign name, whose team participates in the Tour de France, contacted me because he wanted some of the product," Zal added on l'Equipe. The biologist is actively cooperating with French Agency for Public Health to increase the understanding of his work.
Researcher Marc Kluscinszyski explained almost two years ago: "We need to update the biological passport, because it deals with what happens in a red blood cell. These hemoglobins, however, provide hemoglobin, but outside the globular compartment, so blood control is completely bypassed."