"EPO and doping are not going to go away" - Anti-doping expert believes doping is still present in peloton, but is being reduced

Cycling and doping are, unfortunately, two terms that are quickly associated with each other for the last few decades. Within the UCI, WADA and other forms of regulation however, the efforts are continuous to create new ways to identify it, leading to a continuously cleaner sport as a consequence.

Reikin Aid, director of the Athlete Biological Passport has argued that a new update on the system will be able to better detect prohibited substances. “At present, the ABP is there to detect two main substance classes. The hematological module of the ABP is used to detect blood doping, whether it is transfusion or whether it is EPO. And the steroidal module helps to detect steroid doping and different types of steroids," he said in a recent symposium.

"We are also launching in 2023, the endocrine module that will target growth hormone doping," he revealed. "To answer the question, EPO and doping are not going to go away. This is something that is very much in use. But if you look at populations that have the passport implemented for a long period of time, the users do go down."

He's argued that although use of doping has not disappeared in the peloton, it is being reduced, partly due to the evolution of the testing systems. "We hope that as athletes reduce doses, it’s reducing the effect. If you have a lower dose of a substance, the effect will be less. So as athletes go to lower doses or micro-doses or reduced timing of the use, that’s a win for anti-doping. It’s not beating the system but having less effect. It’s less effective than their doping program," he continued.

“...Now, anti-doping organizations have the ability and are authorized to test the athletes 24 hours seven days a week. Earlier, there was a window from 6 am to 10 pm. Because of this very short detection window, there was that adaptation of the code and now is possible, of course with a justification, to test the athlete during the night, for example," he added.

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