How can we catch athletes who dope?

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Offline thedoc

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How can we catch athletes who dope?
« on: 08/07/2014 17:57:10 »
Cycling fans were devastated when Lance Armstrong was found guilty of systematic doping. But how can we prevent this in future?
Read a transcript of the interview by clicking here
or [chapter podcast=1000743 track=14.07.08/Naked_Scientists_Show_14.07.08_1002468.mp3] Listen to it now[/chapter] or [download as MP3]
« Last Edit: 08/07/2014 17:57:10 by _system »

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Offline CliffordK

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Re: How can we catch athletes who dope?
« Reply #1 on: 09/07/2014 04:09:34 »
Many substances could potentially be tested for by taking hair, toenail, or fingernail samples, which would give a much longer period of testing.  Say, if you could recover 6 months of data from a toenail scraping, then it would be harder to fool the tests.

Natural "steroids" are a problem, and much harder to test for.  Perhaps one could convince manufacturers to make 13C substituted testosterone, then come up with a test to screen for it.  However, that would undoubtedly significantly increase the manufacturing cost.  Such a substitution would likely have no effect on those individuals with legitimate use of the drug.  Of course, somewhere there would be a rogue manufacturer making human equivalent testosterone without the marker.

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Offline David Cooper

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Re: How can we catch athletes who dope?
« Reply #2 on: 10/07/2014 18:16:59 »
The biggest problem is people competing with an inherited genetic advantage. If we could eliminate that, then the racing could be a lot more fair.