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Wada Athlete Biological Passport


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WADA’s Executive Committee approved harmonized protocols and operating guidelines for the Athlete Biological Passport. These protocols and guidelines, which take effect immediately, will provide anti-doping organizations worldwide with a robust and harmonized framework to implement this promising strategy in their fight against doping in sport.

The fundamental principle of the Athlete Biological Passport is based on the monitoring of an athlete’s biological variables over time to facilitate indirect detection of doping on a longitudinal basis, rather than on the traditional direct detection of doping. Abnormal variations can lead to the pursuit of anti-doping rule violations or to targeted testing when appropriate.

The establishment of the Athlete Biological Passport Operating Guidelines allows for a harmonization in the results of monitored variables within the Athlete Biological Passport, ensuring both legal and scientific fortitude. WADA’s Athlete Biological Passport concept does not undermine the validity or efficacy of any existing longitudinal profiling program that an anti-doping organization may currently operate. Rather, WADA’s Athlete Biological Passport Model is intended to equip anti-doping organizations with a robust and harmonized framework for pursuing anti-doping rule violations in accordance with Article 2.2. of the Code (Use or Attempted Use by an Athlete of a Prohibited Substance or a Prohibited Method) and support intelligent, targeted testing.


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The Athlete Biological Passport will not replace traditional anti-doping testing

If the urine and blood tests, which are essentially toxicology tests, are to be maintained and improved through increasingly sophisticated analytical methods, these will inevitably have to be rapidly combined with effective tools such as biological monitoring. In view of the challenges posed by current and future biotechnological methods, an increasingly global and biological approach, similar to that used in forensic science, is necessary in order to respond with the expected efficiency.

The fight against doping relies on several strategies, including the direct testing of athletes as well as evidence gathered in the context of non-analytical doping violations. By combining these strategies, and seeking new ones to address emerging threats, the global fight against doping is more effectiv

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  • 2 years later...

Helder Ornelas becomes first victim of athlete biological passport

The Portuguese long-distance runner Helder Ornelas has been banned for four years by his country's federation after becoming the first athlete to be found guilty of doping using the athlete biological passport.

The suspension of the 38-year-old, who ran the 5,000 metres at the Sydney Olympics and the marathon in Beijing, marks a breakthrough in the fight against doping according to the president of the International Association of Athletics Federations. Lamine Diack said in statement: "Those who try to cheat within the athletics community should be warned that the athlete biological passport is not merely a concept but rather an efficient method that is now being used by the IAAF anti-doping department to identify, target and catch those who believe that doping is the only route to success.

"Cheaters should also be aware that, if they are caught, the IAAF will seek an increased four-year sanction whenever the circumstances so justify."

The IAAF did not reveal what the banned substance was but said blood samples from Ornelas has been collected in the course of the biological passport programme during a 11-month period from December 2009.

Ornelas's blood profile was flagged as being abnormal in May 2011, triggering further investigations in accordance with IAAF anti-doping regulations.

"After examination by a panel of experts in the field of haematology, it was concluded that there was no known reasonable explanation for abnormalities observed in Ornelas's blood profile other than use of a prohibited substance or a prohibited method," the statement added.

The IAAF referred the case to the Portuguese Athletic Federation, recommending a four-year ban for a serious first-time doping offence. Ornelas has declined his right to appeal to the court of arbitration for sport, the IAAF said.

The athlete biological passport will be used for the first time at an Olympics in London this year.


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