Blood Sport: Anti-Doping Strategy Comes Into Its Own

Last week, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), considered the world authority in sporting disputes, ruled in favor of the International Cycling Union in its doping case against the Italian cyclists Franco Pellizotti and Pietro Caucchioli. The two cyclists had been barred from riding competitively for 2 years (Pellizotti from May 2010, and Caucchioli from June 2009), but had appealed. Neither cyclist was caught with an illicit substance in blood or urine samples provided to doping officials. Instead, the charges were based on evidence collected as part of a new anti-doping program—the Athlete Biological Passport (ABP)—that builds biological profiles of athletes and detects suspicious changes in their blood. “It is a significant step in the global fight against doping in sport,” says David Howman, director general of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

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