The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) in partnership with the World Athletics Championships Oregon22 Local Organising Committee (LOC) and the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) is set to deliver a robust and innovative testing programme during the championships to be held at Eugene’s Hayward Field between 15-24 July.
For the first time the AIU is collecting Dried Blood Spot samples using a new, less-intrusive blood collection device. DBS requires just a few drops of blood, collected via an upper arm prick. The blood is applied to a special type of absorbent support, which is then sealed and sent to a WADA-accredited laboratory for analysis.
They are part of the 600 pre-competition tests which are being conducted at a dedicated doping control station in the Athlete’s Village in Eugene, Oregon. This operation is another step in the AIU’s continued drive towards innovation and efficiency in its quest to ensure clean and fair sport. The testing programme in Eugene will contribute to the development of DBS as a viable and complementary alternative to the current anti-doping practice.
“The collection and subsequent transport of blood samples is extremely challenging, especially for organisations like the AIU which operate on a global scale,” said AIU Chairman David Howman.
“DBS is an exciting innovation in anti-doping that will ultimately facilitate more efficient collection and transportation of samples for anti-doping agencies and provide a better athlete experience. However, at this early stage the number of prohibited substances that can be tested for with a DBS sample is less than on a normal blood tube. The testing conducted here in Oregon will help to improve on this.”
Meanwhile, there will also be 500 in-competition tests across all events. The samples will be analysed by the WADA-accredited labs in Salt Lake City and Lausanne. Most of the samples collected in Eugene will be kept in a long-term storage facility for future re-analyses, as anti-doping science develops.
“We are excited to be working alongside our strong independent partner, the AIU, in delivering this robust anti-doping program and innovative DBS testing to protect clean athletes,” said Travis Tygart, CEO of USADA. “As the host nation’s independent anti-doping organisation, together with the AIU, we are determined for this event to be a celebration of clean sport.”
The AIU has set up its outreach programme – Athletics Integrity Hub – at the Global Scholars Hall in the Athletes Village, in collaboration with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and USADA. The outreach booth will welcome athletes and athlete support personnel from July 13.
The Athletics Integrity Hub is a space for the athletics community to come together to listen, learn and share experiences and views. All athletes and support personnel participating at Oregon 2022 are invited to the Hub to connect with the AIU, WADA and USADA team on site.