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Gene doping test is in place: IOC

Statesman News Service |

An effective gene doping test has been invented, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said at the sidelines of the Rio Olympic Games here on Monday.

IOC Medical and Scientific Director Richard Budgett said the test, developed in a WADA accredited anti-doping lab in Australia, is targeted to detect Erythropoietin or EPO, a blood booster helping athletes enhance endurance, reported Xinhua news agency.

"With the test you can actually tell if the EPO gene is in the wrong place. The test is approved by WADA as being effective but it is not in use yet," said Budgett.

But the new procedure, which is to identify if an athlete is artificially adjusting their DNA to enhance performance, is expected to be used to test samples from the Rio Olympics after the games to see if any athletes were gene doping, Budgett said.

The IOC will store all the samples from the Olympic Games for 10 years and retest them as soon as a reliable new method is in place.

Budgett said there are already 1,400 samples from Beijing 2008 and London 2012 re-tested and 98 samples returned positive results.

At Rio Olympic Games, a total of 3,188 doping tests have been conducted, including 2,701 urine tests, 191 blood tests and 296 biological passport tests, as of Sunday, according to Budgett.