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USASA enhances pre-Beijing Olympics drug testing

Thu, May  1, 2008 - By USADA

The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) announced today additional details regarding its enhanced efforts in support of the United States Olympic Committee and the goal of sending only athletes who uphold the value of clean sport to the 2008 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in Beijing, China.

"In order to prevail in the fight against doping in sport, we must continually refine and explore new, credible measures that can be introduced to our program.

Our efforts have as much to do with protecting the health and well-being of the overwhelming majority of athletes who compete clean as catching and sanctioning the few who, unfortunately, break the rules," said USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart.

Prior to representing America in the 2008 Summer Olympic Games, America’s Olympic athletes will be subject to one of the most advanced and comprehensive anti-doping testing programs in the world, including the expanded collection of blood samples.

The core of that program is USADA’s out-of-competition, no-advance-notice testing program. This program provides that athletes that may represent the United States at the Olympic Games will participate in this testing program for at least 12 months prior to the Games. As part of this program athletes are required to provide USADA with notification of their location and to be available for unannounced testing at any time. Additionally, every athlete who qualifies to represent the United States must be tested and declared negative within 120 days of the Olympic Games.

The testing in advance of the Summer Games also will include focused sample collections in sports with the highest risk of potential doping and utilizing current and expected analytical methods, including those for the detection of synthetic testosterone, EPO and human growth hormone (hGH).

Another component of USADA’s efforts includes the creation of a voluntary, longitudinal pilot testing program to advance the science of anti-doping. The first phase of the program involves testing of American Olympic hopefuls and includes the collection of both blood and urine samples. During the initial pilot and evaluation phase of the program, the number of participants will be limited.

In addition to remaining part of the regular testing pool, athletes involved in the program also voluntarily agree to provide additional blood and urine samples to USADA. These samples will be tested for prohibited substances and the analytical results will then be used to establish a longitudinal baseline for each athlete. Following the initial baseline testing each athlete is subject to ongoing monitoring through the collection of additional blood and urine samples.

USADA will also be rolling out a new clean sport campaign that is aimed at helping the next generation of America’s athletes understand and embrace the value of competing clean.

USADA is responsible for the testing and results management process for athletes in the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement. USADA is equally dedicated to preserving the integrity of sport through research initiatives and educational programs.