WADA acknowledge French study into micro-dosing has “raised questions” about ability of athletes to avoid detection

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The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) have acknowledged that a French television documentary which saw eight athletes undergo a month-long period of micro-dosing did “raise questions” about the ability of athletes to avoid testing positive by taking minimal amounts of performance enhancing substances.

Athletes participating in the study, documented by France 2’s sports magazine show Stade 2, underwent a VO2 max test, a time trial on a static bike and a 3,000 metre run before repeating the tests after a month-long process of micro-dosing, using prohibited substances such as erythropoietin (EPO).

The study attempted to demonstrate how athletes could avoid detection from the Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) through the process of micro-dosing, whilst they athletes displayed an average improvement of 6.1 per cent in the VO2 max test, as well as 2.3 and 2.8 per cent gains in the time trial and runs respectively.

WADA have now confirmed that they are now aware of the five completed profiles produced by the study and in a statement outlined that the ABP would have flagged up the profiles as possible doping cases.

“Of those five, two would have been considered “positive” cases under the ABP model if properly used, and three would have been “suspicious” cases leading to targeted testing,” the statement read.

The ABP system has been credited as a key tool in the fight against doping, by developing a blood profile of athletes and flagging abnormalities but micro-dosing has been suggested as a way of bypassing the system and avoiding detection.

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